Michelle Foster: The First LBHS Inductee into the CIF Hall of Fame
On Oct. 16, Michelle Foster, the health teacher at LBHS, became the first LBHS Inductee to the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Hall of Fame. She was honored for her achievements as the coach of the Laguna Beach High School girls tennis team from 1997 to 2002. She led her team to four victories in back-to-back CIF championships, earning her place in the CIF Southern Section Hall of Fame.
While the award recognizes excellence in coaching, Foster recalls the exceptional student-athletes whose work-ethic led them to victory.
“They were the hardest working girls I have ever come across,” Foster said.
The girls on Foster’s team credit their success to their coach, and Meghan MacGillivray, a 4-year player on Foster’s team, believes that her life has been changed for the better because of her mentor.
“Ms. Foster has been a source of inspiration for me my entire life,” MacGillivray said. “I wouldn’t be the person I am today without her. She demands the best from her players – and she makes you want to succeed in everything you do.”
In addition to coaching, Foster is a very accomplished tennis player. She received a full-ride scholarship to play tennis at UC Irvine. Foster has been playing tennis for a long time, and her achievements as a coach can be partially attributed to the amount of experience she has in the sport.
“My family members were tennis fanatics, so I grew up crawling around on the tennis courts,” Foster said.
Foster no longer coaches the tennis team, but she continues to fuel her passion and still plays tennis in her free time. Funny enough, her love and devotion for tennis have evolved into an interest in a different sport.
“I do play a little bit of tennis still, but my new passion is pickleball,” Foster said. “It is like the old person’s version of tennis!”
Tennis has always been a big part of her life, and her interest in tennis led to exposure to her current career.
“Coaching the girl’s team here is what led me into teaching,” said Foster. “I started subbing at the high school when I was coaching and realized very quickly that this is the career I wanted.”
Foster knew that LBHS was the right school for her.
“Laguna Beach is just a special community and has one of the best school districts in the state,” Foster said. “I have had so many opportunities here to grow as a teacher that I cannot imagine working anywhere else.”
Social sciences teacher Jonathan Todd, who was the high school athletic director at the time Foster was coaching, has admired Foster for the passion she has shown over her career as a coach and teacher.
“The bottom line is this, Foster is the kind of person who, in whatever she does, is always ‘All In!’” said Todd.