University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's basketball coach Jim Foster has brought in a familiar face to help him in his second season with the Mocs.
Former Ohio State basketball player Brianna Sanders will be the first-ever director of basketball operations for the UTC women. The Cincinnati native played two seasons under Foster at Ohio State and then served as a student coach while finishing her degree after a knee injury ended her playing career.
"She's a good person and a hard worker," Foster said Monday. "She medically had to stop playing basketball, but she has a great personality and she's a real basketball person.
"Her father's a coach and she coached in high school last year, so she has a real broad-based experience as an intercollegiate player and as a high school coach as well as AAU basketball for a lot of years."
Sanders spent last year coaching high school basketball in Columbus, Ohio, but is glad to be back with Foster as she furthers her career.
"I think it's a very nice program here," she said. "I think Coach Foster has taken it in a positive direction. Any time you get a coach like Coach Foster and his caliber and his experiences, you just always know that wherever he goes he's going to bring the program upward.
"I'm glad he brought me here so I can learn and hopefully gain information from here to take into my own career."
Sanders joins new graduate assistant Jon Goldberg on Foster's staff, and they will be taking on a lot of responsibilities from assistant coach Katie Burrows, who is preparing to have her first child in the next few weeks. Foster said Sanders' knowledge of his coaching style made her a good choice while Burrows is away from the program.
"It was really important in my opinion to bring in someone who really knew me and knew how things opperated, because Katie is not going to be here for a while," he said. "You didn't want to be training someone on the fly and then things change when Katie comes back.
"I had delegated a lot of administrative things to [Burrows], so now she's not here so Bri and Jon have to pick that up. So we have a couple of really sharp young people to pick that up until Katie gets back."
Sanders said she's excited by what she's seen of the current crop of UTC players, and she is confident they will be able to maintain the Mocs' standard of success despite the loss of several seniors from last year's Southern Conference championship team.
"I'm glad I'm here," she said. "The girls are great workers and hard workers, and I'm sure they'll continue to do a lot more of what they did last year. I'm just excited to be a part of this program."
Contact Jim Tanner at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6478. Follow him at twitter.com/JFTanner.
Jim Tanner has worked as assistant sports editor at the Times Free Press since late 2006. He started at the Times Free Press in 2001 and worked as a news copy/design editor from 2001 through 2006. In addition to working as a night and weekend editor producing local and national sports coverage for print and online readers, Jim occasionally writes local sports and outdoors stories. Jim grew up in Ringgold, Ga., and is a graduate ...