• Lewis Geyer / Staff Photographer

    Longmont boys basketball coach Jeff Kloster is hugged by his son Cade Kloster, who is an assistant coach, after Jeff's 400th win Tuesday night at Longmont High School. Go to BoCoPreps.com for more photos.

  • Lewis Geyer / Staff Photographer

    Longmont High School boys basketball coach Jeff Kloster shakes hands with his players in the final minute of his 400th win Tuesday night at Longmont High School. "I love you guys," he said.

  • Lewis Geyer / Staff Photographer

    Longmont's boys basketball coach Jeff Kloster poses for photos with his team after tallying his 400th career victory Tuesday night. Go to BoCoPreps.com for more photos.



Jeff Kloster Career Highlights

400-157 Overall Record

6 Final Four Appearances

2 state championship game appearances

8 conference championships

42 players who went on to play in college

1 losing seasons in 23 years

LONGMONT — Jeff Kloster has given his life to the game of basketball, and to teaching the game he loves to generation after generation of young men.

An old school coach that likes things simple, Kloster has never been a huge fan of ceremonies and outpourings of attention. But when a coach wins as many games as Kloster has throughout his uncommonly long and successful tenure as head basketball coach at Longmont High School, it becomes inevitable that he must endure more than a few celebrations like the one in the Longmont High gym on Tuesday night that celebrated his 400th win with the Trojans.

In his typical humble way, Kloster found a way to deflect the praise for his career milestone away from himself and onto all the others who have helped him along the road to achieving it.

“It’s all about the kids,” Kloster said. “I told them just to live in the moment tonight, it’s going to be exciting. Now they’re part of something that’s special for Longmont High School. It’s about Longmont High and all the kids who came through the program over the last 24 years. I’ve been blessed over and over and over and I’m just very appreciative that I get the chance to be in the gym with great kids.

“I’ve had so much support from parents, coaches and administrators, from downtown all the way here. I love what I do, I love the kids and it’s been an honor to be the head coach of my alma mater.”

Before taking over as the Trojans’ head coach in 1994, Kloster played for the Trojans under Bob Letz and spent three years as a Longmont assistant coach under Tad Boyle, who is now the head men’s basketball coach at the University of Colorado. For years now, Kloster has been coaching players who were not yet born when he took the helm at Longmont High School.

Midway through his 24th season as the Trojans’ head coach, Kloster boasts a 400-157 record after his team defeated visiting Niwot 68-28 on Tuesday night. Kloster’s 400 career wins are the eighth most all-time in Colorado preps history for a single coach with the same team. He has won eight conference championships, made six Final Four appearances and has reached the state championship game twice. The Trojans have had just one losing season under Kloster and 42 of his players have gone on to play college basketball.

Several dozen of those former players were in attendance for Tuesday’s milestone, including Blake O’Grady, who was on the Trojans team that won Kloster his 300th game in 2013. Ten former assistant coaches sat in the stands and watched their mentor’s historic victory. Kloster’s son Cade Kloster, a 2011 graduate of Longmont high who played in the veteran coach’s 200th win, is an assistant coach for the Trojans and relished the opportunity to be on the bench for his father’s 400th victory.

“This whole year, it’s been unbelievable just to work under him,” Cade Kloster said. “He’s the most knowledgeable coach I’ve ever had. It’s so fun. The kids just love him, I love him and this is a special moment. It’s probably the most special moment that I’ve been a part of. He’s been the best mentor and role model I’ve ever had and it’s a surreal feeling to coach with him for number 400 and I couldn’t be more proud of him.”

Tuesday’s win was the fifth in straight for the Trojans (6-1, 3-0 Northern), whose only loss this season came via an overtime buzzer-beater against then-No. 1 Golden on Dec. 7. True to the style of a typical Kloster-led ball club, it was relentless defense that earned the Trojans the victory. They held the Cougars (1-10, 0-2 Northern) scoreless through the first four minutes and allowed just one point in the second quarter to take a 42-8 lead into the locker room at halftime.

“We’ve been working all year and we knew coming into this game that this could be number 400, so we just wanted to give it our all for coach Kloster,” Trojans senior point guard Luke Johnson said. “He deserves it. We pride ourselves on defense and rebounding and I think tonight we did a great job of both for four quarters.”

Johnson, who is averaging 18.5 points per game, scored eight of his game-high 22 points in the first quarter and added nine more in the third while the Trojans continued to increase their lead. Eight different Trojans scored and senior Max Towlen led the Cougars with six points.

The Trojans will play Greeley Central at home on Thursday. The Cougars will hit the road to take on Mountain View on Friday.

Brad Cochi: cochib@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/BradCochi


Longmont 68, Niwot 28

At Longmont H.S.

NIWOT (1-10, 0-2)

Carlson 1 2-3 5, Crall 0 0-2 0, Erikson 0 0-0 0, Bounds 2 0-0 5, Towlen 2 2-3 6, Nagula 0 2-2 2, Luthens 0 2-3 2, Oliver 0 0-0 0, Hyatt 0 0-0 0, Ostwald 1 0-0 2, Rathburn 1 2-2 4, Sheldon 1 0-0 2. Totals 8 10-15 28.

LONGMONT (6-1, 3-0)

Derksen 1 0-2 2, Johnson 7 6-6 22, Renck 2 1-2 5, Elkins 3 2-4 9, Dye 3 1-2 7, Dehning 3 2-2 10, Dion 2 0-0 6, Rulon 1 0-0 2, Sprecher 1 0-0 2, Page 0 0-0 0, Seamons 1 0-0 2, Yazzie 0 0-0 0, Kurjak 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 13-20 68.

Score by quarters:

Niwot 71416—28

Longmont 2121197—68

3-point field goals — Niwot (2): Carlson, Bounds; Longmont (7): Johnson 2, Dehning 2, Dion 2, Elkins. Total fouls — Niwot 18, Longmont 20.