EL PASO, Texas -

A former UTEP basketball star will be back on the Don Haskins Center floor this season - this time, as an undergraduate assistant coach on coach Tim Floyd's staff.

Greg Foster, the 6-foot-11 center who played for UTEP in the 1980s, has spent years trying to break into the college coaching ranks and is now going to get his shot.

"A lot of people are trying to re-invent themselves. I'm no different," Foster said.

After dabbling in real estate and as a sports agent with Foster Sports Development, the 41-year-old is finally getting his shot at coaching.

"I feel fortunate to have this opportunity," Foster said. "Sometimes it's not what you know, but who you know."

For Foster, who played for the late Don Haskins, that who is Tim Floyd.

Floyd, who was an assistant coach for Haskins, has known Foster since recruiting him out of high school.

"I wish he could still play, we could still use him," Floyd said, perhaps hinting at the need of a big man with the departure of Derrick Caracter in the spring.

With 13 years of NBA experience and a world championship with the Lakers, Floyd plans on letting Foster do all the talking he wants to on the basketball court.

"I look forward to watching his career develop after he completes his degree this year and we're certainly anxious to have him working with us this year," Floyd said.

In addition to coaching, he'll be working toward getting a degree he wishes he'd gotten a long time ago.

"I admire the fact he wants to complete his education, values an education," Floyd said. "I think he could be an extremely talented coach one day."

It's been 20 years since Foster attended classes on UTEP campus, but this time, it's different.

"School is fun because I'm taking it a little more seriously," Foster said. "I'm the old guy in class asking all the questions that everybody wants to shut up."

Foster has lived in El Paso for years, but returning to UTEP is returning home for him.

"It's fun being back part of the family," Foster said.