Dodge City Daily Globe - Dodge City, KS
  • Foster hired to lead Demons

  •     After screening 60 applicants, Dodge City High School has settled on a new football coach.    On Monday evening, the USD 443 Board of Education approved the hiring of Dave Foster, formerly the head football coach at Elk City, Okla., the past eight seasons. ...
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  • After screening 60 applicants, Dodge City High School has settled on a new football coach.
    On Monday evening, the USD 443 Board of Education approved the hiring of Dave Foster, formerly the head football coach at Elk City, Okla., the past eight seasons.
    Foster replaces former DCHS head coach Justin Burke, who led the Red Demons to an 8-3 record and their first Class 6A state playoff victory since 1994 season. Burke resigned in February after it was learned he violated Kansas State High School Activities Association regulations by conducting a football practice within a physical education class.
    Foster, 37, is a former Fort Hays State University football player (1990-93). He guided Elk City to the Class 4A state high school playoffs in Oklahoma in five of the last six seasons.
    “We were in the (state) semifinals in 2004 and we’ve been to the quarterfinals,” Foster said. “Really, it’s kind of gotten to a point where we expect to be there in the playoffs. “
    DCHS athletic director Jay Gifford said that Foster seems to the fit the school sought.
    “We had very good interest in the position,” Gifford said. “When we went through the screening process, we wanted someone to have our philosophy of a winning program and developing our kids into products of our athletic program.
    “Coach Foster exemplifies the leadership we look for in our coaches, for our kids and for our teams. His vision for the program, our student-athletes and as a coach is right in line with our successful athletic programs. His winning record and the relationships he has forged with former coaches and players are key indicators he will do well in our community.”
    Foster said he was sold on the DCHS position after speaking in detail with administrators about their focus for the future.
    “After talking to the administration and the overall school system ... the organization of the district and the direction they’re going was big for us,” Foster said. “I felt it was very progressive, and I thought our family was kind of drawn to Dodge.
    “My wife and I are from small towns in Kansas. My wife grew up in Lakin and I grew up in Beloit. We’re both Fort Hays State people. I want to be the head football coach at Dodge City for a very long period of time. I do not like moving, and I hate saying good-bye. Hopefully, this is a job where we can come in and build a consistent championship-caliber program.”
    While graduating cum laude, with a bachelor’s degree from Fort Hays State, Foster was an assistant coach at Hays High, a Western Athletic Conference rival of the Demons.
    “In 1994, I coached at Hays High while I was finishing college there,” he said. “I had already used up my eligibility.
    Page 2 of 2 - Upon completing his master’s degree at Emporia State University, where he was a graduate assistant Foster went to Ness City for his first head-coaching job, where he spent two seasons.
    Foster posted 8-1 and 9-2 seasons at Ness City before leaving for Haven, where he also rebuilt that program in three years.
    “They had lost 19 straight,” Foster said of Haven. “We went 0-9, 3-6 and 6-3.
    “We came (to Elk City) in the fall of 2002.”
    Hopes are high at DCHS that the Demons can continue their resurgence with a number of returning lettermen and an unbeaten junior varsity program from last fall.
    “That’s what people have told me,” Foster said. “I’ll tell you this, where I’m at right now, we’ve got good, tough kids and they’re Western Oklahoma kids. I think that will be the type of kids we’ll have in Dodge City, again.
    “If you’ve got good, tough kids and some talent, you can go a long way. I’m excited to get up there and sit down and meet these kids and get a chance to see them on the film from last year. I’m anxiously awaiting that opportunity, I’ll promise you. The base seems pretty solid, and our expectations are extremely high for the program. It’s not a deal where we are going to sit there and say, hey, three or four years down the line. ... coming off an 8-3 year, it’s not like I’m sitting here saying, ‘Man, I’d like to win five.’ ”
    DCHS administrators also were sold on the fact that Foster has been active with youth football.
    “I started the youth program (at Elk City),” Foster said. “We had kindergarten through second grade, flag football, and third through sixth, tackle football.
    “I managed that hands-on. That’s how I spent my Saturday, trying to build our future program. Not that I want to run (the youth program) up there, but I look forward to having input on how things are done and being around the kids.”
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