By Ian Ferguson
With an illustrious coaching career spanning 34 years so far, Craig Foster has coached wrestlers in California, New York and Oklahoma, but he settled in Blaine 23 years ago and the Blaine wrestling team has been largely successful ever since.
Under Foster’s tutelage, 71 Blaine wrestlers have placed at state and 11 have been crowned champions. As a team, Blaine has placed top five in the state three times since Foster started coaching, and last year they took home the state championship trophy.
Foster was named “Coach of the Year” at the state tournament last year, his fourth time earning that honor. After many years of dedication to the sport, and having coached a team to a state title, it seemed appropriate that he be inducted into the Washington State Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Foster was officially inducted during a ceremony in Vancouver, Wash. on November 1.
“It was exciting,” Foster said. “I got to have my family there with me. It’s a real honor and it’s still kind of hard to believe.”
Foster has been involved in wrestling for most of his life. He placed fourth in the 1974 California State Championships wrestling for Los Alamitos High School, and he was named All-American in wrestling at Cypress Junior College and Eastern Washington University. It was at Eastern Washington University that Foster earned his teaching degree in physical education, and he began his coaching career soon after.
“Wrestling has always been fun for me,” Foster said. “It’s an honor to be able to teach the sport I love to the next generation, and I’m looking forward to the rest of my career.”