Mocs' Jim Foster adds three to staff

Ka'Vonne Towns shoots during a UTC practice in the 2014-15 season. She is returning to the program as a member of coach Jim Foster's staff.

Debbie Black and Ka'Vonne Towns will have a reunion of sorts at their new jobs.

Those jobs are at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Their reunion is with women's basketball coach Jim Foster.

The Mocs helped fill out their coaching staff by hiring Black and Towns, with the latter joining the program as director of student development and Black named director of basketball operations.

In addition, Jon Goldberg, who has served as both a graduate assistant and director of student development the past three seasons, moves into the assistant coaching position vacated by John McCray, who's now at the University of Florida.

Black replaces Brianna Sanders, who took a position at Akron. Both she and Towns played for Foster during their careers, Towns at UTC and Black at Saint Joseph's. Black later joined Foster when he was head coach at Vanderbilt and Ohio State. She was the head coach at Eastern Illinois the past four seasons, going 34-80.

Towns scored 682 points for the Mocs from 2011 to '15. She moved to point guard as a senior, averaging 8.8 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists and just less than two steals per game while making 39 percent of her 3-point attempts.

"Whatever needed to be done, she did it; she would become it," Foster said Thursday. "People like that, you always want around so players can see that. The fact that she played with some of the players and for them to see the transition she's made, it's all good.

"When Jon was a graduate assistant, he was doing a lot of things where he would be able to be a position coach, and with his work ethic, attention to detail and his manner, he'll be terrific with recruiting. He's a good people person and has a great work ethic."

Black left Saint Joseph's as the all-time leader in assists and steals. She has been inducted into the school's basketball and athletic halls of fame, as well as the Philadelphia Big Five Hall of Fame.

She played eight years as a professional in Australia, helping the team to a pair of championships, and two-plus seasons with the Colorado Xplosion of the American Basketball League, earning defensive player of the year honors in 1997. After that league folded, she went on to play six seasons in the WNBA, and at the time of her retirement in 2005, she had the best assist-to-turnover ratio in league history.

"She's someone that should be coaching," Foster said. "In my opinion, coaching is a weakness in the women's basketball game, so when you have someone who has the passion, energy and understanding, if they're not coaching, you want to keep them engaged, and eventually she'll get another job and someone with a little bit of common sense will realize what they've got."

Contact Gene Henley at Follow him on Twitter @genehenleytfp.