NATCHITOCHES — Thomas Foster’s passion for the North West State was evident even after his retirement in 2011.
This dedication to demons will remain even after Foster’s death on Sunday.
The Thomas “Dog Check” Foster Football Endowment at Northwestern State was established in memory of the guard who was a friend and mentor to many as well as an ambassador for the NSU.
“From day one as an intern in the athletic department in 1985, Thomas took me under his wing and that gesture started a friendship that spanned more than 30 years,” the former NSU athletic director said. , Greg Burke, who, along with his predecessor, Tynes Hildebrand, made the initial donation to the fund. “What I quickly realized was that he treated everyone – be it athletes, coaches, staff, parents, fans and, yes, NFL scouts – the same. way. He impacted so many lives, which Tynes and I have seen firsthand, that it’s fitting that his name will forever be linked to Northwestern State athletics through this endowment. .”
Hildebrand echoed Burke’s comments, particularly regarding Foster’s ordinary nature and ability to relate to various groups within the athletic department and campus as a whole.
“Thomas had a great relationship with all the coaches and players,” Hildebrand said. “He loved the sport, really loved the sport. I don’t know anyone in the athletic department that he doesn’t get along with. That’s a plus for everyone.
“He was able to get along with people because he could disagree without being disagreeable. He knew how to talk to people. We had such a great time together.”
Burke referenced the outpouring of support for Foster’s family after his death from a long battle with cancer was palpable. Numerous social media posts from former players across sports have shed light on what Foster meant to so many student-athletes and Demon staff.
That impact extended into the pro ranks as Foster became a go-to source of information for NFL scouts to the point where the current NSU quarterbacks coach Kyle Washington was asked about Foster during Washington’s participation in the Bill Walsh Minority Coaching Fellowship with the Indianapolis Colts last month.
The fact that more than a decade passed between Foster’s official employment and Washington’s arrival at the NSU only served to reinforce the breadth of Foster’s legacy.
“Sometimes you don’t realize the impact someone has until that person is gone,” the fifth-year NSU head coach said. Brad Laird, who got to know Foster when Laird was a record-breaking Demon quarterback and later an assistant coach. “We all knew the impact he had, but since his passing, the number of former players who have reached out and told stories on his behalf shows what a special person he was.
“He keeps giving back. I don’t think people realize how much he gave because he gave in so many ways on top of his job. That was the influence he had on The others. Stories are still being told about Thomas Foster. The impact he had on the scouts who came in helped Northwestern State players get drafted or earn free agent chances in the NFL n was just one of the ways he helped.
Endowment revenue will be used at the Head Coach’s discretion to provide a sustainable source of scholarships and endowment funds that supplement annual fundraising initiatives.
“The one thing my dad loved as much as his wife and kids was NSU football,” said Thomas Foster III. “Honoring him with this endowment will not only help the program continue its quest for greatness, but will also continue its legacy for generations to come.”
The fund was launched as part of the Perpetually Purple program, which aims to enable NSU to provide a sustainable source of scholarship and endowment funds separate from efforts to supplement the athletics program’s annual budget with grants. donations, corporate partnerships and special fundraising events.
A minimum commitment of $10,000 is required to create an endowment fund, but this fund can start from any initial donation. Endowments can be made by an outright gift such as cash, a stock transfer or sale of property, a life insurance policy, or can be included as a provision in a will or legacy.
Arrangements can be made to fund an endowment over an extended period of time. For more information on how to donate to the Thomas “Dog Check” Foster Football Endowment, visit this link.