Only four years into his tenure, Mike Foster shocked the Yellowjacket sports family by announcing that he will be resigning.
The UR football team grew during these past years under the leadership of Foster.
Foster had an impressive career before arriving at UR in 2006. He had high success in Division V high school football leading his teams to two championships and a 179-36-3 record.
‘ Head coach Scott Greene played under Foster at Canandaigua Academy and it was a big reason why Foster decided to coach at UR.
‘It was a personal and close relationship – a father’-son type of relationship,’ Greene said. ‘Just knowing him since I was a kid at Canadagia and given the success we had at the program that Canadagia had, he obviously developed me when I was a young kid into a player and person. Given the chance to coach with him was a memorable experience.’
Foster took the Yellowjackets offense to a level not seen in years. He revitalized the players, who reached personal bests.
‘ One player who learned a great deal from Foster was junior running back Clarence
Onyiriuka, who was voted Liberty League Rookie of the Year in 2007 and rushed for the third-highest yards in UR history with 1,245 this past season.
‘Coach Foster was almost like a mentor to me,’ Onyiriuka said. ‘He taught me a lot about the running back position and played a huge role in my success during his time here and
I’m grateful to have had him as a coach.’
In his first two seasons Foster helped the Yellowjackets to a 13-9 record and two trips to the Eastern College Athletic Conference Northwest Championship game. The ‘Jackets struggled the previous two seasons with an overall 7-13 record, missing the playsoffs both times.
Although the Yellowjackets never got past the first round of the ECAC playoffs in Foster’s four years, they were steadily improving their fundamentals.
Foster spent 41 years of his life coaching high school and college players with tremendous success and will be missed in the football community. What he preached will not be lost on the team.
‘It’s going to be a little different and an adjustment at first not having him around because he was a Hall of Fame Coach,’ Onyiriuka said. ‘But I think that with everything he has taught us, we’ll do just fine in the long run.’
The Yellowjackets will now look to each other and to their coaches for leadership and support.
‘We are all going to rally around each other and as much as we miss coach Foster, we understand we still have a job to do,’ Greene said. ‘It’s our job to prepare this team and it’s my job to make sure we keep getting better.’
According to Greene, former offensive line coach Ambrosie, will be taking over the offensive coordinator duties.
Manrique is a member of the class of 2012.