After a long bout with cancer and heart disease, long-time Evanston coach, teacher and administrator Robert Bost died earlier this month at the age of 65. Starting as a teacher in Evanston in 1971, he rose to become assistant principal at Haven Middle School and helped lead numerous school sports teams to statewide tournaments.
Even after his retirement from District 65 in 2002, Coach Bost continued as the varsity assistant basketball coach at ETHS until 2011, completing his 27th season with the boys’ basketball program.
A 1964 graduate of ETHS, Coach Bost was a standout athlete who was selected all-area baseball and basketball player his senior year. He played three seasons with St. Louis Cardinals minor league baseball teams before leaving to attend Kentucky State University. After earning his degree, Mr. Bost returned to Evanston to teach in District 65, spending most of his career at Haven. He took up coaching baseball at ETHS in 1983 under head coach Ken McGonagle and the following year began as an assistant boys’ basketball coach. Coach Bost served as an assistant coach for five different boys’ basketball head coaches during his tenure, and helped guide the teams to Downstate tournaments in 1986, 1988, 2003 and 2008. He also helped lead the baseball program Downstate in 1992 under head coach Matt Polinski.
“No matter his role or the situation at hand, Coach Bost always provided the wisdom and patience and calm needed to effectively manage any issue,” recalled ETHS Athletic Director Chris Livatino, who described him as a “true gentleman” and mentor. “Always leery of the spotlight, Coach Bost was a true ‘kingmaker’ who was fiercely loyal to the kids and the head coaches he served and was always the person to put the pieces back together after a crisis. He will certainly never be forgotten as there are far too many boys and girls, now men and women, that he touched who will continue to work every day of their lives to emulate the path that he blazed.”