Tucker names Foster as Bucs' cornerbacks coach

Tucker names Foster as Bucs' cornerbacks coach

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern head football coach Mark Tucker has named Bryant Foster as the Buccaneers' new cornerbacks coach on Tuesday afternoon.

Foster comes to CSU after spending the past two seasons at Hampton University where he served as the cornerbacks coach and defensive pass game coordinator under head coach Connell Maynor. Foster served in the same capacity for two seasons at Campbell.

"Bryant Foster has produced a number of young men who have gone to play at the next level," Tucker said on Foster's coaching background and experience. "He's an outstanding teacher for a position that is one of the most difficult to play on the field. He's familiar with the Lowcountry and he's been with a good staff at Campbell. He will be a fantastic addition to our coaching staff."

Foster looks to boost a young secondary that lost three starters from the 2016 squad that finished third overall in the FCS rankings in passing yards allowed (158.8) per game and 20th in passing efficiency defense at 114.42. Rising junior cornerback Shadarius Hopkins is the lone starter returning for the Bucs on the edges and finished fourth in the Big South in passes defended with 12 on the season. CSU was seventh overall in total defense in the FCS in 2016.

Tucker expects an immediate impact on the secondary.

"Bryant Foster will help bring an edge to our secondary," Tucker said. "His coaching style is very close to a secondary coach I've worked with in the past and his experience will definitely help our team. With us being a little young in the secondary, I'm looking forward to him working with Coach (Mike) Adams and Coach (Zane) Vance to continue our success."

Foster, for his part, welcomes the return to the Big South Conference.

"Being from Spartanburg and with my coaching background, I'm very familiar with the Big South," Foster said. "One of the biggest things I respect is the football in the Big South Conference; I know the style of football that they play. The opportunity to come back to South Carolina was a major blessing and I was fortunate enough to have this opportunity. Charleston Southern has been on the rise and it's a great time to be a part of Buccaneer football."

Foster also commented on what he's looking forward to working with a position group that has seen a lot of success over the last four years.

"I'm going to make sure our players are sound fundamentally and technically," Foster said. "I want them to be playmakers out there. To play the position you have to be elite; that's why everybody can't do it. There's been a lot of success with the guys who have been here and I'd like to keep that going."

In 2014, Campbell ranked in the top 50 in all of FCS in pass efficiency defense (46th) and top 30 in red zone defense (26th). Brandon Mobley tied the NCAA record for interceptions returned for touchdowns in a season.

Prior to his stint at Campbell, Foster coached at Delaware State for two seasons, helping the Hornets to their first winning season in five years in 2012. Delaware State ranked second in the MEAC that season with 15 interceptions as a team.

Under Foster's tutelage, Delaware State cornerback Nick Williams ranked sixth in the MEAC with three interceptions – including one he returned for a touchdown. Delaware State also ranked second in the MEAC in turnover ratio at 1.36 (+15).

Prior to joining the Hornets, Foster spent four seasons as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Gardner –Webb. In 2010, with Foster serving as cornerbacks coach, Gardner-Webb ranked sixth in FCS in pass defensive and was 15th in total defense.

Each of the Bulldogs' starting corners was named First Team All-Big South that season and Foster guided Gardner-Webb's defensive line during the 2007 and 2008 seasons. During that time, a freshman on the defensive line received All-Big South recognition.

Before coaching at Gardner-Webb, Foster was linebackers coach at the University of the South Sewanee (Tenn.) from 2005-06, where each season he coached an All-Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference linebacker.

A native of Chesnee, S.C., Foster is also a veteran of the high school coaching ranks in the Palmetto State; he served as an assistant coach at Greer High School in 2003 and 2004 helping the Yellowjackets win the 2003 Class 3A state championship.

Foster's first collegiate coaching job came in 2002 when he was a defensive assistant at Presbyterian College. He was also selected to coach in the Div. II Cactus Bowl College All-Star Game.

Foster also had one-year stints coaching at Chesnee High School and Wade Hampton High School.

Foster graduated from Gardner-Webb in 1999 with a degree in management information systems. He was a three-year starter for the Bulldogs at cornerback, safety, and outside linebacker under coaches Woody Fish and Steve Patton.

In 1998, Foster won the Bulldog Award, given to the most improved and dedicated player.

Foster is a member of both the American Football Coaches Association and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

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