In 2015, Tyler Foster graduated from Jefferson High School and went off to Texas A&M with the intention to do exactly what he’s doing now – return to his high school alma mater to coach his younger brother, Trent Foster, who plays linebacker, tight end and deep snapper for the Bulldogs football team as well as catcher for the baseball squad.
“When I graduated, I always had a plan that in four or five years, I would be back here coaching Trent in his last two years of high school,” Tyler said. “That was always the plan going forward. I told him and some of his classmates who I had dealt with before, ‘I’m coming back for y’all in your last two years.’”
He now serves as an assistant offensive line coach and assistant special teams coordinator for the football team as well as the head baseball coach. He joins Jefferson athletic director and head football coach Antwain Jimmerson, as well as defensive coordinator and defensive line coach Stephen Young and offensive line coach Michael Downs on a list of Jefferson alum as current Bulldogs coaches.
“We were excited,” Jimmerson recalls of Tyler joining the staff. “You want to have people who want to be out here. I think it helps with being familiar and getting qualified alums, it’s just a win-win.”
“I get that question a lot,” Trent said when asked what it’s like to play for his older brother. “I like it. We just connect on a different level so he can work with me individually and better and like he was saying, we always talk about stuff outside of school. Growing up, we were always involved in each other’s sports lives. It hasn’t changed too much for me. I just have to call him ‘coach Foster’ and that’s about it.”
“I told him when I first got here, ‘I have to coach you harder than I coach anybody else,” Tyler recalls. “‘I’m going to have to be more strict on you because I have to be able to show no favoritism and I have to have people see that you’re putting in the work needed to earn your starting spot and you don’t get it because you’re my little brother.’”
“Oh yeah, he definitely pushes me and makes me go hard all the time,” Trent said. “Hard work goes a long way. In everything you do, just work hard and do it to the best of your ability. Find somebody better than you and compete to their ability. Be better than them and find somebody that’s better than you and do it all over again.”
“It’s really about seeing the players’ faces light up,” Trent said when asked what the most rewarding part of coaching is. “When you tell them something, you show them something and they do it and get it right, they’re like, ‘Oh wow, I can actually do that. It’s not impossible.’ It’s just taking what’s taught and using it. That kind of translates to life. Us as coaches, not only are we teaching the sport but we’re teaching life lessons.
“My thing is being mentally tough and not letting a little blip deter you off your path and push you a direction you don’t want to go,” Tyler continued. “It’s definitely about being able to the stay the course, stay the direction you want to go, no matter how hard life gets, no matter how hard a game gets, no matter how hard practice is, no matter how hard your coaches are, you have a goal set and really pushing them in that direction. If you talk about your goal, it’s not longer just a dream, it’s a reality.”
While at A&M, Tyler studied sports conditioning and eventually had an opportunity to work for the athletic training staff under head coach Jimbo Fisher for a year.
“The practices were definitely intense,” Tyler recalls. “Everybody had to be in the spot they needed to be in at the time they needed to be. It was good to see a practice like that and hopefully be able to translate that to high school.”
“I know that with Tyler and the things he learned at A&M, the flexibility for our team is so much better, to watch our kids bend, that’s something you can tell right away and that’s all him,” Jimmerson said. “We’ve always worked out and stretched but he’s really improved the flexibility of our kids. You watch our running backs get bent back in the pile but Tyler makes sure he puts his body in those awkward positions when we’re stretching and it really has improved.”
Trent said he’s looking into the medical field and like his brother, plans to attend Texas A&M.
“Just going down and seeing him, seeing the traditions and everything, it really interested me,” Trent said.
In the meantime, the Foster brothers have high hopes for their Bulldogs who currently hold an overall record of 3-3 and a district record of 1-1.
“We’ve got to improve and we’re going to improve,” Trent said. “We’ve improved a lot since the beginning of the year and people have been against us but we’re showing them that they should be with us. I think it’s going to be a good year.”
“The expectations are going to stay the same as they were at the start of the year,” Tyler added. “The expectation is to win. The expectation is to get better every week. We’ve definitely seen improvements with the team overall.”
“The expectations are going to stay the same as they were at the start of the year,” Tyler said. “The expectation is to win. The expectation is to get better every week. We’ve definitely seen improvements with the team overall.”
The Bulldogs will have their work cut out for them tonight when they go up a against the Gladewater Bears who own an overall record of 5-2 and a district record of 3-0.
“The key is to be physical, don’t back down and definitely wrap up, tackle and make the blocks,” Tyler said.
Tonight’s game is slated for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff at W.F. Locket Stadium’s Jerry Bennett Field in Jefferson.