Derrick Foster was named assistant football coach at the University of Iowa in January, 2018. He coaches the Hawkeye running backs and is the offensive recruiting coordinator. Foster joined the Iowa coaching staff after coaching at Samford University the previous two seasons.
Following back-to-back narrow losses to open the 2020 season, Iowa won six straight games, all in Big Ten play, to complete the regular season. The Hawkeyes scored at least 26 points in each of the six wins. The winning streak included road wins at Minnesota, Penn State and Illinois, and trophy game victories over Minnesota, Nebraska, and Wisconsin. The Hawkeyes were ranked 15th in the nation in the final CFP rankings and coaches poll, and 16th by the Associated Press.
Iowa has won three straight postseason games and 12 straight nonconference games. The Hawkeyes were selected to compete in the 2020 Music City Bowl, but that event was canceled. Iowa’s streak of eight straight bowl invitations matches the longest in school history.
Iowa won 47 games from 2015-19, the highest total in school history over any five-year period, and a total that ranked ninth nationally. Iowa won its final four games in 2019 and ranked 15th in the nation in the final Associated Press and coaches polls.
Iowa’s offense in 2020 led the Big Ten in red zone offense (0.917) and ranked second in scoring (31.8). The Hawkeyes scored at least 25 points in all six wins. Sophomore Tyler Goodson and senior Mekhi Sargent led the Iowa ground game. Goodson earned first-team All-Big Ten honors after rushing for 762 yards, while Sargent earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors after rushing for 432 yards. Goodson averaged 5.3 yards per carry and Sargent 5.7. Each scored seven rushing touchdowns.
The Hawkeyes concluded the 2019 campaign with a 10-3 record following a 49-24 win over No. 22 Southern California in the Holiday Bowl. Iowa won its final four games of the season, and ranked 15th in the nation in the final Associated Press and coaches polls. Each of the three losses came to ranked opponents by a combined 14 points. The Hawkeyes were 4-1 in trophy games for the fourth time in five seasons.
Iowa won six of its first seven games in 2018 and closed the season with wins in the final three games, including the 27-22 Outback Bowl win over No. 18 Mississippi State. The four losses came by a total of 23 points and all were decided in the final minutes of play. Iowa’s 5-4 Big Ten record earned a tie for second place in the West Division. The Hawkeyes were ranked 25th nationally in the final Associated Press rankings.
Iowa’s offense in 2019 was led in rushing by freshman Goodson, marking the first time ever that a true freshman led the Hawkeye rushing attack for an entire season. Goodson rushed for 638 yards and led the team with five rushing touchdowns while averaging 4.8 yards per rush.
Sargent rushed for 563 yards and four touchdowns, while junior Toren Young added 432 yards and one score. The trio averaged 4.9 yards per carry and also combined for 39 receptions for 311 yards. The Hawkeyes led the Big Ten in red zone offense and fewest fumbles lost, and ranked second in fourth down conversions.
The Hawkeye offense used a trio of sophomore running backs to carry the bulk of the rushing attack in 2018, as Iowa averaged 31.2 points per game, including a school-record 42.8 points in five conference road games. Sargent (159-745-9 TDs, Young (136-637-5 TDs) and Ivory Kelly-Martin (97-341-2 TDs) all saw significant action.
Foster served as running backs coach and running game coordinator at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama in 2015 and 2016. He has coached wide receivers and running backs at Tennessee, Northwestern State University, and Valdosta State University.
Foster was an assistant coach at Northwestern State University in Louisiana for three seasons, where he coached running backs in 2013 and wide receivers in 2014 and 2015. While at Northwestern State, Foster tutored some of the top receivers in program history.
Under Foster’s tutelage, Ed Eagan set the school single-season receptions record with 73, including single-game marks of 13 catches and 238 receiving yards. Foster was instrumental in helping Bryant Mitchell make his way to the Canadian Football League’s Edmonton Eskimos and guided Cody Jones to a productive junior campaign in Jones’ second season as a full-time wide receiver. Foster also coached Shakier Ryan, who was a member of the Washington Redskins in 2017.
Foster was an assistant coach at Tennessee in 2012, assisting the offensive coordinator and assisting as running backs coach. The Volunteers finished third in the Southeastern Conference in total offense with 5,711 yards. He held office recruiting duties for junior colleges in California, Texas, Kansas, New York, Arizona, and Illinois.
Foster’s coaching career began at Valdosta State in 2011, where he assisted head coach David Dean, and offensive coordinator Robby Brown, while working with the punt and return teams. He worked with wide receivers and helped produce an All-Gulf South Conference selection; he coached Seantavius Jones, now a receiver with the Indianapolis Colts.
Foster was a three-year starting receiver at Southwest Baptist College in Missouri, where he produced a record-shattering 2007 campaign. He ranked sixth in the conference with 44 catches in 2007. Foster played in 41 of 44 games and had 93 career receptions. As a prep, he was a 1,000-yard rusher at Goshen (Alabama) High School, where he was an All-County running back.
Foster is a native of Goshen, Alabama. He earned a bachelor’s degree in sport management from Southwest Baptist in 2010 and a master’s in public administration from Valdosta State University in 2013.
Foster was born March 6, 1986. He and his wife, Bianca, have a son, Cooper, and a daughter, Brielle.
Foster’s Coaching Career
School – Position, Years
Iowa – Running Backs/Offensive Recruiting Coordinator, 2019-present
Iowa – Running Backs, 2018
Samford – Running Backs/Running Game Coordinator, 2016-17
Northwestern State – Wide Receivers, 2014-15
Northwestern State – Running Backs, 2013
Tennessee – Assistant Coach, 2012
Valdosta State – Assistant Coach, 2011