Alden Foster has been dismissed the head football coach at East St. John, St. John Parish Schools Superintendent Kevin George confirmed to RiverParishFootball.com on Friday.
“Coach Foster was given the news by me today,” George said. “We just decided it was time to turn the page on the Foster era. We are very thankful for all the service and the countless hours he has put in with our children. We just felt it was time to try and bring in someone who could help us to attain high levels of not only academic but athletic achievement. So, we decided to part ways.”
The timing of the dismissal was a bit unusual since most coaching changes generally take place shortly after the conclusion of a season.
“That’s been the normal protocol,” George said of coaching dismissals taking place shortly after the end of the season instead of in the spring. “There were some factors that played into it. At this point in time, we really felt like in order to give our student athletes the best chance to be successful this upcoming year that we really needed to bring in someone with a new philosophy and direction. It is a bit uncommon (the timing) but we just felt it was just the best thing for our students.
The timing and method of the dismissal came as a shock to Foster, the former East St. John coach said.
“I would be lying to say it wasn’t (a shock),” Foster said. “It is what it is. The thing is you come here and go through a rebuilding stage and you finally start to get the athletes back and have a change like that, that’s the most frustrating thing and you get it in an email.”
“Being right after the season is a little better because you may have other opportunities at other jobs,” he continued. “To happen right here when it did, it shocked me. I didn’t even know. To get it as an email, that’s a whole other animal right there.”
Foster said he thought the ESJ program was ready for bigger and better things.
“There are some great kids here in St. John Parish and some great people. We had 15 starters coming back so we were about to turn the corner and get back to winning ways,” said Foster.
Foster said he expects to be reassigned within the school system for the remainder of the academic year.
“I will be at the school for the rest of the school year, I guess. From what I gather from the email …I didn’t talk to anybody or anything,” he said.
Foster’s three-year record at East St. John was 12-20.
Foster’s final team posted a 5-6 mark in 2017 and lost 35-25 at Ruston in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs.
The Wildcats lost their first seven games under Foster before winning two of their final three games for a 2-8 record in 2015.
East St. John went 5-6 in Foster’s second season as coach in 2016, advancing to the playoff where the Wildcats lost 23-19 at Barbe in the opening round of the playoffs.
Foster was hired by East St. John in 2015. He was fresh off of 2014 season in which he led Amite to the state championship game.
In seven years at Amite, Foster led the Warriors to a record of 68-21. His teams had won 10 or more games in a season five times and had only one losing season.
Amite reached the state championship twice in Foster’s tenure as coach. The Warriors lost 43-14 to Lavonia in 2014 and 9-8 to St. Charles Catholic in 2011.