By Tom Nader
Publisher and Editor
The “Getting to Know” series is designed to help the community learn more about the coaches and administrators that are guiding today’s Portage County student-athletes to be tomorrow’s leaders.
Today, we get to know Kent Roosevelt High School girls basketball coach Craig Foreman, who is in his 17th season leading the Rough Riders’ program.
Q: What schools did you attend growing up?
A: Central Elementary (Kent), Tower Heights Middle School (Centerville), Centerville High School (Class of 1994).
A: Ohio University (Class of 1999), education (social studies) degree.
Q: Current occupation?
A: Teacher at Kent Roosevelt High School.
Q: What inspired you to be a coach?
A: I always loved the competition and the mental side of sports. First time it crossed my mind was when I realized my ultimate dream was to be a teacher. That was my first calling and it was the perfect lead into the coaching side of education.
Q? What makes being a coach at Kent Roosevelt special to you?
A: I grew up as a kid in Kent, and I have tons of memories here. Believe it or not, I would sneak into the gym at Roosevelt and shoot hoops with my Larry Bird basketball on many occasions. When in that gym with the team practicing, I sometimes think of that. Now we have a new amazing gym so that old gym makes me feel even older.
Being here, where I feel so much pride and memories, makes it special. I love this community. Watching my sons play sports here, watching my wife be so involved with all of it, being a coach in Kent schools — is truly a blessing.
Q: Who has been your biggest influence or mentor?
A: I have two…
Dean Smith from UNC and Jim Staley, who was my head coach when I played at Centerville. Dean has always been a hero to me for not only what he Brough to the basketball game, but his advocacy for civil rights and doing the right thing.
Coach Staley was my first look at what being dedicated to the whole student-athlete was all about and what hard work and dedication can bring to a team.
Q: Funny story nobody would believe from your playing days?
A: I guess it is not necessarily funny, but interesting. My senior year, my high-school team ran into our rival in the district round and got into a huge brawl on the court at UD Arena, leading to next-round suspensions. Splitting games in the regular season, being neighboring rivals and every enjoying each other’s company to begin with, that was an interesting way to end not only that season, but my playing career.
Q: Funny story nobody would believe from your coaching career?
A: My assistant coaches have bought me coffee before every game we have played for over 15 years. Taking the average amount of games to be 20 in those years and using an average of $2.50 per coffee, that means that in order to keep me properly caffeinated, my assistant coaches have spent a combined — rough estimate — of $750.
Also, they buy for the staff as well. So we are looking at over $2,000 spent on coffee. That is loyalty. Or is it insanity? Either way, I love my coaching staff!
Q: Favorite TV show?
Q: Favorite movie?
A: Empire Strikes Back.
Q: Favorite musical artist?
A: Bruce Springsteen.
Q: Favorite food?
Q: Best vacation?
A: So many great ones, but anytime I can see an ocean and have my wife there.
Q: Favorite motto or quote?
A: Play hard, play smart, play together.
Q: Describe your coaching philosophy?
A: Coaching, when all is said and done, is a powerful place to make true education happen and it goes well beyond the court. My former coach, Coach Staley, is a shining example of that to me, as we are still in touch, and I still look to his words on and off the court.
Q: What does it mean to you to be a Rough Riders student-athlete?
A: The Rough Rider Way definitely applies here: Respect, Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Responsibility and Service. Add to that legendary Roosevelt coach Kevin Hockett’s “Tough times don’t last, tough people do” mindset and you have yourself a true Rough Rider student-athlete.
Q: Favorite restaurant?
Q: Favorite teacher from high school?
A: Mr. Peters (English) and Mrs. Drake (English).
Q: Advice you would give the younger you?
A: Be sure to cherish and enjoy the moments. They go so fast and truly try to take in everything. I often think about what I may have missed by not being in the moment.
Q: Favorite coach from your playing days?
A: Jim Staley.
Q: Coaching resume?
A: Federal Hocking Middle School head coach (1995-97); Centerville High School varsity boys assistant (1997-98); Kent Roosevelt High School freshman boys basketball coach (1999-2001); Kent Roosevelt JV boys basketball coach (2001-04); Kent Roosevelt High School girls basketball coach (2006-present).
Q: Favorite sports team?
A: Browns, Cavs, Guardians and UNC Tarheels.
Q: Favorite athlete then?
A: Bernie Kosar and Magic Johnson.
Q: Favorite athlete now?
A: Kevin Love and Jarrett Allen.
Q: First job as a teenager?
A: Pizza delivery for Cassano’s Pizza.
Q: Shoutout to former teammates?
A: John Camillus, Jason Niekamp, Joel Stanley, Jeremy Office. Some of the best days ever! Elk Pride!