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Apr 01, 2019

Former Track & Field Coach Charles Foster Passes Away

The Clemson Track & Field program mourns the passing of former Tiger sprints, hurdles and relays coach Charles Foster. Foster coached at Clemson from 1999 to 2008.

“My sincere condolences go out to Coach Foster’s family,” said Clemson track & field head coach Mark Elliott. “In my experience with him, I would run into him at meets and I could tell he always had student-athletes’ best interest at heart – he always wanted what was best for them. I know of a lot of athletes that he coached that excelled under his tutelage. He is certainly going to be missed.”

Foster mentored a handful of Clemson standouts, including program record holders Travis Padgett (100m) and Shawn Crawford (200m). In 2008, Foster was named the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association the NCAA Assistant Track Coach of the Year. He began his coaching career as an assistant coach at North Carolina beginning in 1986 and retired as an assistant at Virginia Tech in 2015.

Foster was the Manager for Sports Planning on the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games from 1992-97 and worked on the Special Olympics World Summer Games Organizing Committee from 1997-1999. He was also a member of the 1976 U.S. Olympic Team that competed in Montreal. Foster won the high hurdles at the Olympic Trials that year to earn a spot on the squad.

A former world record holder in the high hurdles, Foster received the Distinguished Citizen Award of North Carolina, the highest award presented in the state.

He graduated from North Carolina Central University 1975.