David Foley, the head coach at Centenary College of Louisiana in Shreveport, LA., enters his first season at the helm of the Ladies basketball program. Foley spent the past four seasons as an assistant coach at Luther College, guiding the Norse to a 20-7 season as well as back-to-back, 20-win seasons. Since joining the Luther coaching staff in 2012, the squad appeared in the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament three times, winning the tournament championship in 2015 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division III Tournament that same year.
Tell us a little about your background?
The oldest of two boys, I was born and raised in The Colony, Texas. For my undergraduate degree, I attended Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas, and majored in business and economics with a minor in kinesiology. During that time, I was a four-year letter-winner in basketball & baseball. I later spent two years at Central Michigan University as a graduate assistant with the men’s basketball program while teaching within the department of Physical Education and Sport. My full-time coaching career began at Luther College in 2012. I served dual roles as assistant coach and hall director in athletics and student life.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I enjoy being outdoors in my free time. Spending time on the water and in the sun is a nice break from the basketball gym. I also enjoy following professional and collegiate sports, especially baseball. After the move back south after six northern winters, I am excited for a little break on snow and bitter cold. Being able to enjoy the outdoors 12 months out of the year in Louisiana is a major perk with living in this area of the country.
When did you know you wanted to be a coach?
I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my life until the first season after graduating from college. Having to sit and watch and be a fan wasn’t for me! I knew October 15, 2010 after the feeling I got in my stomach when I wasn’t going to the first practice of the year for basketball. I had no idea what my path was going to be, and still don’t, but I knew I had to go out and give it a shot. I just loved the game and being part of it, and I didn’t realize until I got to Luther that it was about so much more than basketball. The relationships and connections I’ve built the last four years have been so much more than basketball, and I love the ability to go to ‘work’ every day and have the feeling that I do as a coach!
Do you have any pre-game rituals?
Since I pride myself on being the self-proclaimed, best dressed assistant coach in the country, I feel most of my pre-game rituals involve my outfits. I can’t give away any secrets to my fashion rivals out there… I’m all about sharing information just not about style! Now coming into my new role as head coach, I’m sure I will develop something new in the first few years to stay relaxed. I always try to enjoy the experience of game day and keep our student-athletes loose. If we prepared for the game in the practices leading up to as we were supposed to, then game day is all about execution, putting on a show for the fans and having fun!
What is/are the most challenging part(s) of your role?
Some of the most challenging parts of my role, and I would say most Division III coaches would feel similar, are the number of hats I wear on a given day. As an assistant working two full-time jobs and having a coaching staff made up of a head coach who also taught, my position pushed me to make challenging decisions in how to prioritize what got done. Now in my role as head coach, I have a whole new set of challenges, most of which don’t even exist yet! But we expect our student-athletes to embrace challenges and attack them. That is exactly the attitude I attempt to bring every day.
How do you work through these challenges?
The great thing about my job is that my biggest challenge is also one of my biggest motivators. It gives me the ability to use all of my strengths and talents. Luther College was a special place full of special people, and in my dual role, I was able to be a part of the entire campus community. That might sound cliché and most coaches in the country will say their college is special, as they all are, but I truly feel my interactions with our student-body, faculty and other staff in my role within Student Life made me a better leader, person, coach and recruiter. In my new role, I am finding much of the same at Centenary College of Louisiana. The people I work with on a daily basis have been very supportive and made me feel at home in my transition. I am energized by the different and unique challenges I get to tackle on a day-to-day basis.
Briefly state your coaching philosophy; What values are important to you that you try to instill in your student-athletes?
My coaching philosophy is you improve through positive repetition outside of your comfort zone. I enjoy teaching the game and letting players make basketball plays. Freedom and up-tempo decision making creates an exciting, entertaining brand of basketball that will continue to push our sport forward. I feel as if I am very adaptable and laid-back. I enjoy the challenges of developing player’s talents as individuals and combining those talents within the team dynamic.
Hard work and enthusiasm are core values that will translate beyond basketball. I want our players to truly enjoy the rigors of our sport just as much as the rewards. The feeling of accomplishment after every tough workout or practice is where you earn the opportunity for the reward of victory.
What is your favorite coaching memory thus far?
My favorite coaching memory was in 2015 - winning our conference tournament on our home floor. Our team was picked to finish last in the preseason conference coaches poll and ended up making it to the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament. I will never forget that conference championship game on our floor in front of a packed house and the experience of our students storming the court to celebrate with our players as the final buzzer sounded. We love our LCWBB SIXTH MAN! Gives me goosebumps just thinking about it now!
What does it mean to you to be recognized as a WBCA “Thirty Under 30” honoree?
It is an amazing honor to be recognized in the inaugural WBCA “Thirty Under 30” class. I am very proud to represent my family, Centenary College of Louisiana, Luther College, as well as all that have supported me throughout my career. I am so excited for the future of our sport and look forward to continuing to learn and improve as a leader and a professional. I have been blessed by having some amazing people to help me get to this point, especially Amanda Bailey for giving me my first opportunity and the student-athletes I have coached that believed in me and gave me the confidence I carry into my current position. I want to thank Amanda, current and former student-athletes, and of course, the WBCA for making this all possible. Love you all!
Getting involved in the WBCA is such an integral part of growing our game together as a group. I’ve been able to learn from so many great coaches and even greater people in my four years with the WBCA. The future is NOW for women’s basketball and I can’t wait to be a part of it for years to come!wbca
The WBCA recognizes annually the WBCA's Thirty Under 30 recipients. This recognition was created to honor thirty of the up-and-coming women's basketball coaches age 30 and under in the sport at all levels of the game. For more information on the award, click here.