Football coach Foster retiring from College of DuPage
After seven seasons as head coach of the College of DuPage football program, Matt Foster has announced his retirement, effective this upcoming spring.
The Chaparrals were 44-22 with Foster at the helm.
Foster, a Wheaton native, cited his health as the reason for stepping down from his post.
"My health has precluded me from continuing a job that I completely love,'' said Foster, who underwent a successful spinal fusion procedure last month. "I've been so lucky and blessed to have many great mentors help me along the way in a profession that's been so good to me. My teams and my kids have been such a big part of my life.''
On the field, the Chaparrals have participated in five bowl games under Foster's direction with more than 70 student-athletes extending their playing careers at the NCAA Division I level.
Off the field, the Chaparrals contributed to the community by giving back their time. They have spearheaded thousands of hours of community service to the greater DuPage County area and raised monies toward such charities as the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana.
"Coaching junior college football is extremely unique,'' Foster said. "We've had athletes who have gone on and played at the highest levels of college football, and we've had those who have had the opportunity to play college football and then move on into any number of professional careers.
"It's the same with young assistant coaches. Having an opportunity to mentor and move people along in any number of positions, whether it be at the professional, college or high school levels. It's incredibly gratifying to have played an active role in their lives, too.''
As the head coach of the only junior college football program in the state of Illinois, Foster also played a vital role in the origination of the Red Grange Bowl in 2016 and annually pits the top schools in non-scholarship NJCAA football.
"Coach Foster has been an integral part of the recent success that the College of DuPage football program has enjoyed,'' COD director of athletics Ryan Kaiser said. "His leadership through the years has helped shape the trajectory of this football program as we move into the new possibility of joining a football conference. He is more than just a coach, he is a mentor to so many young people, he loves and cares about each one of them like they were his own sons.
"On a personal note, I will miss Matt's friendship around the office. He is an old school coach and I am an old school athletic director, meaning we grew up with very similar paths. I will miss his wisdom and loyalty to our college.''
A graduate of Illinois State, Foster began his collegiate coaching career at Salisbury State in Maryland. After the Seagulls finished as the NCAA Division III finalist in 1986, he spent five seasons at Central Connecticut (1987-91), where he was associate head coach. He then became an assistant for six seasons under Bob MacDougall at COD and was on the coaching staff that set the NJCAA record for consecutive victories (36, 1993-96).
He spent 11 seasons as head coach at Wheaton North High School, where he also was a physical education instructor and taught first aid. In 2008, he became defensive back/co-defensive coordinator at North Central College for five seasons until accepting the head position at COD.
Foster's teams earned a prolific reputation for their community involvement, furthering the program's philosophy that, "it's not just football that develops leaders, that athletes have a platform to give back.'' During the season, his teams work with special needs adults and children on Monday nights, and during the summer with the Glen Ellyn assisted living adults.