Sports

Northwestern parts ways with baseball coach Jim Foster amid bullying allegations

Northwestern University has dismissed baseball coach Jim Foster on Thursday. Foster’s dismissal comes amid allegations of misconduct.

The move to part ways with Foster arrives just a few days after the university fired longtime football coach Pat Fitzgerald as the program dealt with a hazing scandal.

Northwestern’s athletic director Derrick Gragg confirmed Foster’s ouster in a statement. 

Northwestern University head baseball coach Jim Foster

Northwestern University head baseball coach Jim Foster heads back to the dugout for a game against the University of Notre Dame at Wrigley Field in Chicago, on May 16, 2023. (John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

“Nothing will ever be more important to Northwestern than providing its students a place that allows them to develop in the classroom, in the community, and in competition at the absolute highest level, and building a culture which allows our staff to thrive,” Gragg said in the statement. 

“This has been an ongoing situation and many factors were considered before reaching this resolution. As the Director of Athletics, I take ownership of our head coaching hires and we will share our next steps as they unfold.”

NORTHWESTERN’S PAT FITZGERALD ‘ABSOLUTELY KNEW’ ABOUT HAZING WITHIN FOOTBALL PROGRAM, FORMER PLAYER SAYS

Prior to the start of the baseball season, Foster was the subject of an internal investigation conducted by the university’s human resources department. 

According to a document obtained by the Chicago Tribune, the probe’s findings revealed that Foster had “engaged in bullying and abusive behavior.”

Jim Foster throws a ceremonial first pitch

Northwestern baseball head coach Jim Foster throws the ceremonial first pitch of the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Colorado Rockies at Wrigley Field on September 18, 2022, in Chicago, Illinois. (Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)

The document also stated that Foster had “made an inappropriate comment regarding a female staff member, and spoke negatively about his staff to other staff members.”

Northwestern had several coaches depart the program earlier this year, including hitting coach and recruiting coordinator Dusty Napoleon, pitching coach Jon Strauss and operations director Chris Beacom. The Wildcats struggled on the field this season, finishing the year with a disappointing 10-40 record.

Once the season concluded, 16 players decided enter the transfer portal.

Before he made the move to Evanston, Illinois, Foster coached at Army from 2017 through 2022. The university said that assistant coach Brian Anderson will have oversight of the baseball program following Foster’s exit.

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