Tuesday, August 11, 2015

UIS women's basketball coach gives up CPA career to realize coaching dream

By day, Mark Kost was a certified public accountant for a global professional services giant. Away from work, he was a coaching wannabe.

The two worlds collided in November of 2000.

Kost walked away from a lucrative career crunching numbers to try to satisfy a longtime yearning: to coach basketball. Fifteen years later, he achieved the ultimate goal and became a head coach. Kost, 42, was hired in May as the University of Illinois Springfield women’s coach.

“He was very brave,” said Sam Kost, Mark’s wife. “You’re talking about a guy who was very successful in accounting that didn’t play college sports and thought he might never have the opportunity.

"He worked very, very hard and came up through the ranks with very little pay. Money wasn’t important to him. Only his passion and his goal to be a head coach. That’s inspiring.”

Mark Kost is living a dream – for real.

“A couple of partners that I worked with at the firm still use me as a recruiting tool,” Kost said. “Whenever they go out to recruit universities they say, 'If you’re a CPA, you can do anything. We have an alumnus who is a college basketball coach.'”

Kost was featured by The State Journal-Register on August 9, 2015.

Read the story online