Boys basketball: Longmont nets Kloster’s 300th victory as head coach

Greg Lindstrom
Longmont head coach Jeff Kloster hugs Trojans player Matt Burris (24) after Tuesday’s victory, Kloster’s 300th as a head coach.

LONGMONT — Jeff Kloster doesn’t remember his 100th win as a high school basketball head coach, or his 200th, but he won’t soon forget No. 300.

After his Longmont boys routed Mountain View 75-38 Tuesday night at LHS, Kloster’s milestone was announced to the enthusiastic crowd and he was presented a cake with icing that read, “Congrats Coach Kloster 300.”

“It’s hard to fathom,” said senior Marcus Johnson, who like the rest of the current Trojan players was not even born when Kloster started as Longmont head coach in 1994. “Getting 20 wins seems like a lot to us, but he has 300, you know?”

Kloster, who played under Bob Betz at Longmont and spent three years there as an assistant under current University of Colorado head coach Tad Boyle, now owns a head coaching record at LHS of 300-138. He’s coached the Trojans to five Final Fours and to a runner-up finish in the 1997 state finals.

“Is it sweet? Yeah, it’s sweet because I want to share it with all of my coaches and all of my players from past years because they mean the world to me,” said Kloster, who has gone 91-25 over the last 41/2 seasons. “I’m glad that it happened here (at LHS). To be able to do it on the court where you played … I’ve loved the Longmont Trojans since 1969 when we moved here from Iowa and, my goodness gracious, we wanted to do it here in front of our home fans. So yeah it’s special.”

On hand to celebrate the feat were Kloster’s mom, wife and daughter, among others. A formal celebration of victory No. 300 will take place on Feb. 9 before Longmont hosts Skyline, where Kloster served as ninth-grade coach at the beginning of his 32-year high school coaching career. All former players and coaches under Kloster are encouraged to attend.

Kloster and the Trojans have been aiming for Tuesday’s victory ever since the coach discovered, after being urged to do so at a coaches’ clinic over the summer, that he had 291 career wins heading into the season.

“This is huge,” said junior Austin Kemp, who scored a varsity career-high 24 points on Tuesday, including 14 in the third quarter. “We’ve been looking for that all season, getting to that ninth win of the season to get him that 300th win. It’s nice.”

Kloster is more than happy to put the quest for 300 behind him.

“To me it’s a monkey off of our back because the spotlight is on the 300 wins, and now we can go play,” he said. “This is now the rest of (the players’) season. All of those 300 wins are not theirs. It’s the entire program, all the kids who have been in the program, all the coaches that have been involved. And you don’t do it without great players who buy in and believe. So it’s just a culmination.”

Longmont (9-3 and 3-2 in the Northern League after its third straight victory) never trailed Tuesday in reaching Kloster’s milestone.

The Trojans were good on both ends, shooting 69 percent from the field on offense and holding Mountain View to 26 percent shooting accuracy on defense.

Next up for Longmont is a home game Friday night against Thompson Valley.

Longmont 75, Mountain View 38

At Longmont HS

MOUNTAIN VIEW (2-12, 2-3)

Kunisch 1 0-0 3, Kress 0 0-0 0, Patton 4 0-0 10, Klug 7 0-0 14, Porterfield 2 3-4 8, Svendsen 0 0-0 0, N. Fisher 0 1-2 1, H. Fisher 0 0-0 0, McKinley 0 2-3 2. Totals 14 6-9 38.

LONGMONT (9-3, 3-2)

Alaniz 0 1-2 1, Jessup 2 0-0 6, Kemp 12 0-2 24, Sullivan 2 1-2 6, Johnson 6 1-2 13, Sterkel 2 0-0 6, Donaldson 2 5-6 9, Mitchell 1 2-2 4, Wilkey 2 0-0 4, Sigg 0 0-1 0, Speidel 0 1-2 1, O’Grady 0 1-2 1. Totals 29 12-21 75.

Score by quarters:

Mountain View 7 12 8 11 — 38

Longmont 14 20 23 18 — 75

3-point field goals — Mountain View (4): Patton 2, Kunisch, Porterfield; Longmont (5): Jessup 2, Sterkel 2, Sullivan. Total fouls — Mountain View 17, Longmont 16. Fouled out — none. Technical fouls — none.