John Jost hasn’t the faintest idea what his career coaching record is—none. Maybe it’s because the years run together. Maybe it’s because wins and losses don’t matter until the playoffs. Maybe it’s because those of us without a degree in astrophysics would need an abacus, calculator and Apple’s Siri program to add up all those rather large and in charge numbers.
We don’t know what Jost’s career record is, but we do know that since taking over as head coach of the CBC hockey program in 1998, the Cadets have won more than they’ve lost—actually, a whole lot more.
Jost has guided CBC to seven of its 11 state championships. Since Jost took over, and even before, the Cadets are the hockey program by which all others are measured in this town. Sure, De Smet has a significant hockey history, but it’s the Cadets that year in and year out manage to keep themselves among the elite. And it’s one of their own who is helping them stay there.
Jost graduated CBC in 1984. During his time, he was a good player who helped CBC win its first state title in 1983. A forward, he would go on to play at the University of Wisconsin at River Falls. He played there a few years before returning home and graduating from what was then Lindenwood College.
One of seven brothers, Jost was raised by his father, Jim Jost Sr., to appreciate the speed, power and grace of hockey. There was never a time Jost felt his dad forced his kids to strap on their skates and take the ice. Instead, it was a part of life, like Christmas and summer vacation. Playing hockey was just what the Jost boys did. “He gave us the opportunity to do other things,” Jost says. “It was just kind of a part of life.”
All seven of the Jost boys would suit up for the Cadets. Five of Jim Jost’s grandchildren have played, as well. And there is another in the pipeline.
While Jost enjoyed the game of hockey as a youth, it wasn’t until he pulled on the CBC sweater that his passion reached a fever pitch. There was just something about that purple and gold that took the game to another level for him. “I found my love for the game at CBC,” he says. Jost never really thought about coaching unless it meant taking over his alma mater. “I always said if the opportunity came I’d take it,” he says.
He began as a JV coach and then moved up to a varsity assistant coach in 1997. In 1998 he was tabbed as the next head coach and has yet to pass the baton. And why would he?
CBC has gone from a contender to the favorite in every preseason. It’s almost become a given. The sun will rise. Taxes will be collected. And CBC will have one heck of a team. Jost deflects the credit for his team’s success into two veins. One is his trusted assistant coaches are as much a part of this success as anyone. Both Randy Staub and Nick Carosello, both CBC alums, have been with him on the whole journey. “There’s no way I’d be doing this without them,” he says. The second is that the players who make their way to CBC step onto the ice with an impressive youth background and talent to burn. “These kids are so skilled when we get them,” Jost says.
With that talent comes a certain level of expectations. The Cadets have made the championship game the last two years and were beaten. In 2010, it was rival De Smet who got the better of them. Last year, it was Francis Howell. Jost says that pressure is just part of the job. A job he loves more than he ever imagined. “When I’m ready to go I better be sure,” he says. “There will be a long line of people that will want to have this job.”