Clemson likely will talk to coordinators who are candidates before the season ends and wait until after the season to speak with sitting head coaches.
Foster is in his 22nd season in Blacksburg, arriving at Virginia Tech with Frank Beamer in 1987. Foster coached linebackers before becoming co-defensive coordinator in 1995. He took over the entire defense in '96.
Foster has forged a reputation as one of the top defensive coordinators in the nation. His 2005 and '06 units led the country in total defense. In 2006, Foster won the Broyles Award, given to the top assistant in the nation. He was a finalist for the award in 1999, 2001 and 2005. After helping Virginia Tech reach the BCS title game in the 1999 season, Foster was honored as the 2000 I-A Defensive Coordinator of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association.
Foster, a native of Nokomis, Ill., has flirted with leaving Blacksburg in the past. After the 1998 season, then-Florida coach Steve Spurrier offered Foster the Gators' defensive coordinator post, but Foster opted to stay at Virginia Tech and Spurrier hired Jon Hoke off the Missouri staff. Foster also was interested in the West Virginia coaching job that opened after last season.
Foster played safety and outside linebacker for Beamer at Murray State from 1977-80, when Beamer was defensive coordinator. When Beamer got the head-coaching job in 1981 at Murray State, he hired Foster as a graduate assistant. Foster eventually became a full-time assistant.