Aquinas Director of Athletics Nick Davidson recently announced the hiring of DJ Foster as the Assistant Athletic Director for Communications and Marketing in the Saints athletic department. Foster comes to AQ after spending the last nine years in the athletic department at Grand Valley State.
A native of Westlake, Ohio, Foster worked in the GVSU athletic department since 2008. He spent eight years as the Assistant Sports Information Director before being promoted to the Director of Athletic Communications and Broadcasting for the past athletic year. In addition to his sports information responsibilities, Foster played a large role in the radio and video broadcasting duties at Grand Valley State.
"I want to thank Coach Wojciakowski and Coach Seites for all of their hard work these past years in sports information," said Davidson. "They put a lot of time and effort into their work while also coaching their sports. This position has been a need for a long time and we are excited to be able to dedicate someone to telling our story in athletics."
Davidson continued, "DJ is going to be a great addition to our department. He brings a great attitude and energy that will help lead us into further developing the sports information and sponsorship area. His knowledge and experience will no doubt increase our awareness and enhance our student-athlete experience. We are excited that DJ, his wife Katey, and daughter James have joined the AQ family."
During his time at Grand Valley State, Foster handled a number of duties in the sports information office, including writing game recaps, previews, and newsworthy stories, stat-keeping and archiving, developing and editing record books, and updating website information for student-athletes and coaches. He was responsible for promoting student-athletes and coaches for conference, regional, and national awards, while also coordinating local, regional, and national media interview requests.
For six years, Foster served as the coordinator for the Daktronics/D2CCA Midwest Region Volleyball Team, as he organized and conducted the nomination and voting processes for the All-Region teams and distributed results of the voting with an official release detailing the First and Second Team individuals.
In his nine years at GVSU, Foster worked and helped host nine NCAA Division II football playoff games, including the 2009 national semifinal game and worked at Grand Valley State's 2009 national championship game in Mobile, Ala. He also served as either the site host or worked at 18 conference, regional, or national championships on GVSU's campus in Allendale. That list includes three NCAA Midwest Region Volleyball Tournaments (2008, 2013, 2014), three NCAA Midwest Region Softball Tournaments (2011, 2012, 2013), and NCAA National Championship competitions in women's golf (2011, 2015), men's golf (2014), and men's and women's outdoor track and field (2014, 2015).
"I'm incredibly excited to join the Aquinas athletic department," Foster explained. "I'd like to thank Nick Davidson and the hiring committee for giving me this opportunity and am thrilled to take on this new position and role. It was immediately clear to me during my visit that AQ athletics was trending upward and I really enjoyed the atmosphere and culture that is taking shape, in addition to the outstanding campus and location in downtown Grand Rapids. There are a lot of good things going on at Aquinas and I really look forward to helping tell the story of the student-athletes, coaches, and the athletic department."
Foster served as the sole radio announcer for six seasons of Grand Valley State men's basketball and two seasons of Laker women's basketball. He was the play-by-play announcer during GVSU women's basketball's run to the 2016 NCAA Final Four in Sioux Falls, SD. In addition to his play-by-play duties, Foster hosted The GVSU Football Weekly Insider, The GVSU Basketball Weekly Insider, and the Mike Williams Radio Show with Laker head coaches Matt Mitchell, Ric Wesley, and Mike Williams, respectively. He also performed video interviews with Grand Valley State coaches and student-athletes on the department's athletic website. Over the past year, Foster was the host of the Grand Valley State Sports Report, a weekly 30-minute television show highlighting Laker athletics during the 2016-17 campaign.
In his most recent role as Director of Athletic Communications and Broadcasting, he organized radio broadcast formats of GVSU football and basketball games in regards to content, commercials, and sponsor recognition. Foster served as the liaison between the Grand Valley Sports Network and its radio affiliates, while collecting proof-of-performance affidavits from the 12 radio stations that aired Laker football games in 2016. During the 2016-17 athletic year, he helped oversee more than 500 hours of content and nearly 250 radio and video broadcasts, including 48 live events on ESPN3.
Grand Valley State won seven Learfield Directors' Cups as the top Division II athletics program in the country during Foster's nine years; the department was the national runner-up during the other two years. GVSU teams won 14 Division II National Championships while Laker student-athletes also captured 36 individual Division II National Championships during Foster's nine years in Allendale.
Prior to his time at Grand Valley State, Foster spent two years as the Assistant Sports Information Director at Ashland in his home state of Ohio. He received his Master's degree in sport education from Ashland in 2008 after earning a Bachelor's degree from AU in 2005 as a double major in sport communication and electronic media production.