Joe Foley, the 2010, 2011 and 2015 Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year and 2010 Russell Athletic/WBCA Regional Coach of the Year, has led the UALR Women’s Basketball program to 20-win seasons eight of the last nine years, outright Sun Belt Conference West Division titles in the final six years the Sun Belt had divisions, post-season appearances in seven of the last eight years – including four NCAA berths – and Sun Belt Conference Tournament titles in 2011, 2012 and 2015. Foley has recorded a 700-212 (.768) career record and a 244-131 (.630) record at UALR as he begins his 13th season in 2015-16.
Foley earned his 700th career victory in the NCAA Tournament's first round in 2015, and he signed a contract extension in April 2015 that will keep him as the Trojans' head coach through the 2023-24 season.
In his 12 years at UALR, Foley has compiled the most overall wins (29) and conference victories (18) in a season while producing the school’s first All-Sun Belt Conference selection in Alicia Cash in 2004. He also recruited back-to-back Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year in Renee Renz (2006) and Kim Sitzmann (2007). No other Sun Belt Conference school has achieved this feat. Foley also coached the school’s first-ever Honorable Mention All-America honoree in Chastity Reed in 2010. His Trojan student-athletes have earned 21 All-Conference selections.
The 2014-15 campaign may have been the best of Foley's tenure with the Trojans, as the team broke program records for victories in a year and conference victories in a year with 29 and 18, respectively. The Trojans reached the NCAA Tournament defeated No. 11 Texas A&M in the tournament's first round before barely falling to No. 3 Arizona State on their own court. Taylor Gault was named the Sun Belt Tournament's Most Outstanding Player and earned All-Sun Belt First Team honors while Alexius Dawn and Ka'Nesheia Cobbins were on the All-Sun Belt Second Team. UALR claimed the league regular-season championship outright for the first time in program history and the tournament championship for the third time.
UALR's 2013-14 season was highlighted by its incredible record at home in the Jack Stephens Center. When in Little Rock, the Trojans were a nearly perfect 13-1 with the only loss coming against an LSU team that reached the Sweet Sixteen. UALR finished 21st in the country in scoring defense, giving up just 58.4 points per game to sit in the top 50 nationally in that category for the ninth consecutive season. Taylor Gault (First Team) and Taylor Ford (Third) were named members of the All-Sun Belt squads. The Trojans also reached the Sun Belt Tournament semifinals for the seventh straight year.
In 2012-13, UALR raced out to its best start in school history (10-1) and won its sixth straight outright SBC West Division title. UALR won 13straight games — including every game in the month of February — and finished the season 24-9. The Trojans finished in the top 50 nationally in scoring defense (53.1 ppg) for the eighth straight season, one of only five teams in the nation to accomplish this feat. UALR also won 20 games, only one of 18 teams in the nation to reach that milestone in each of the the seven previous seasons. As a team in 2012-13, UALR shattered the single-season school mark for blocks with 163, 49 more than the record set the previous season. Individually, Taylor Ford made the Sun Belt All-Conference Second Team after leading the SBC in assists per game (4.5). She finished the season with 149 assists, the second-most for a single season in UALR history. Taylor Gault and Shanity James earned All-Conference Tournament Honors.
In 2011-12, Foley molded a program that started 5-9 through November and December to Sun Belt Conference Champions. The Trojans earned the team’s third straight NCAA berth. Freshman Taylor Gault was named the Sun Belt Freshman of the Year and earn a spot on the All-Sun Belt First Team, becoming, the first Trojan to get both as a freshman. Senior Marian Kursh earned Second Team All-Sun Belt honors. Gault also earned Most Outstanding Player of the tournament, only the third freshman to do so, and Kursh earned All-Tournament team honors.
In 2010-11, Foley coached the program’s first-ever Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year and Most Outstanding Player of the Sun Belt Tournament in Chastity Reed and the program’s first-ever Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Year in Shanika Butler. Reed also was the first Trojan women’s basketball player to be drafted to the WNBA, going first in the third round and 25th overall to the Tulsa Shock. Foley led the Trojans to the team’s fourth straight Sun Belt West Division title and the first-ever Sun Belt Conference Tournament title, receiving the Sun Belt’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Foley also reached a career milestone that season, winning his 600th game on January 29, 2011 against Arkansas State.
The Trojans finished the season ranked in the top 10 nationally in two categories, finishing fifth in three-point field goal defense and seventh in scoring defense. UALR and UConn are the only two schools to finish in the top 10 in scoring defense for five consecutive seasons from 2006-11. The Trojans had three athletes ranked in the top 50 in the nation in various statistical categories: Asriel Rolfe was 13th in assist-to-turnover ratio, Chastity Reed was 18th in scoring and Shanika Butler was 18th in assist-to-turnover ratio and 41st in assists per game.
In 2009-10, Foley led the women’s basketball team to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history. The Trojans defeated No. 6 seed Georgia Tech 63-53 and lost in the second round to Final Four team Oklahoma. UALR picked up the team’s third straight Sun Belt West Division title and fourth straight 20-win season.
The Trojans finished in the top five in the nation in four team categories while three Trojans finished in the top five in individual stats: Asriel Rolfewas first in assist-to-turnover ratio, Chastity Reed was fourth in points per game and Shanika Butler was fourth in assist-to-turnover ratio and triple-doubles.
Reed earned First Team All-Sun Belt honors while Kim Sitzmann was named to the third team. Reed, a finalist for the second straight season for NCAA Division I State Farm Coaches’ All-America team, was the first Trojan to receive AP All-America Honorable Mention. She had her No. 20 jersey hung in the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame from May 2010-11. Reed, Butler, and Sitzmann earned All-Sun Belt Tournament honors, and the Trojans ended the season setting 12 UALR records.
In 2008-09, under Foley’s direction the Trojans recorded their second straight Sun Belt Conference West Division title and WNIT appearance while recording then-school records of 26 overall and 16 conference victories. UALR finished the season ranked in the top five in the NCAA in four categories, leading the nation in turnover margin while ranking second in turnovers per game, third in assist-to-turnover ratio, and third in scoring defense for the third straight season. Sophomore Asriel Rolfe finished the season ranked No. 6 in the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio while Chastity Reed became the first Trojan to be named a regional finalist for the NCAA Division I State Farm Coaches’ All-America Basketball Team. Reed, along with Anshel Cooper, became the first women’s basketball players to earn Sun Belt Conference All-Tournament Team honors as the Trojans advanced to their first-ever SBC Championship game. The Trojans set eight then-records during the 2008-09 season.
In 2007-08, Foley led the Trojans to their first-ever Sun Belt Conference West Division title with a 23-9 overall record and 14-4 Sun Belt Conference record. For the first time in school history, the Trojans appeared in the WNIT and played in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament semifinals. UALR finished the season ranked No. 3 in the nation in scoring defense behind LSU and Rutgers and was also ranked in the top 25 in turnovers (11th) and assist-toturnover ratio (21st). The Trojans also held the longest home winning streak in the Sun Belt Conference at 20 wins and went 14-0 at home in 2007-08.
In 2006-07, Foley lead his team to a 21-10 overall record and a 12-6 Sun Belt Conference record, placing them second in the Sun Belt Conference West Division, their highest place in school history at that time.
In 2004, Foley led the Trojans to their first-ever post-season victory in the Sun Belt Conference tournament when UALR defeated Denver 50-48.
Off the court, every athlete who has played for Foley for four years has graduated. Jocelyn Love received ESPN The Magazine First Team Academic All-District honors in 2007 and graduated Magna Cum Laude in May 2007 with a bachelor of science in education degree.
Before he started at UALR, Foley began his stint at Arkansas Tech as an assistant for the men’s basketball program from 1984-87. Foley was elevated to the women’s head coaching position before the 1987-88 season.
The Golden Suns had six 30-win seasons under Foley and posted 16 consecutive 20-win seasons. Foley guided Arkansas Tech to back-to-back NAIA national championships in 1992 and 1993 and was the NCAA Division II national runner-up in 1999.
Under Foley, Arkansas Tech also won 14 conference championships, made six appearances in the NCAA Division II tournament and advanced to the Division II Elite Eight twice.
Foley began his coaching career at the high school level as both the boys and girls basketball coach at Oxford (Ark.) High School from 1979-81, and then at Morrilton High School as an assistant for the boys team until 1984.
Foley has earned many personal accolades during his career. He has been named national coach of the year twice, region or district coach of the year seven times, chosen to be on the 1994 United States Olympic Festival coaching staff and was inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame as a member of the class of 2002.
Foley earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Arkansas in 1979. He is married to the former Chris Fields of Alpena, Ark. The couple has two children, C.J. and Miranda.