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Daily Journal
     January 30, 2020      #76-30 KDJ
 

Male Sports Citizen of the Year: KCC's Post a

By Mason Schweizer
mschweizer@daily-journal.com


When Todd Post began his college basketball career at Danville Community College in 1984, he did so with baseball still as his primary love.

“Baseball was always my first love, but I had an opportunity to play basketball,” Post said of the decision he made after graduating from Crescent-Iroquois High School. “I chose that opportunity and stay close to basketball as a fan.”

After graduating from Danville in 1987, Post returned to his love of baseball when he hit the diamond for a year at Kankakee Community College in 1988 and then two more years at Benedictine University.

Ever since then, baseball has been what Post is most known for. He’s been a coach at KCC since 1993, taking the reins as head coach in 2001. Since he took over, Post has piled up 791 wins, 16 sectional and two regional championships and made a pair of National Junior College Athletic Association Division II World Series appearances, winning it all in 2017.

Because of his excellence as a coach, Post was inducted into the NJCAA Region IV Hall of Fame. That excellence, as well as a career dedicated to various roles at KCC he also has held since becoming a coach, serving as an academic advisor before being named athletic director in 2016, have helped make Post this year’s Daily Journal Male Sports Citizen of the Year.

For Post, it’s the ability to do what he’s dreamed of doing since his high school days as a Golden Eagle that has allowed his success. He spent a few brief years teaching at his alma mater before his move to KCC.

“Since my senior year of high school, I had a vision of [teaching and coaching] as an opportunity, and I can’t say it could have worked out any better,” Post said. “When I got the opportunity to come here as an assistant coach and full-time employee, I wasn’t sure how long I would be an assistant and hoped to be the head coach some day.

“That day happened in 2001 ... and since then, the success we’ve had has been from great assistant coaches, and the college and athletic department have given the program the avenues we’ve needed for that success.”

One of those assistant coaches, current assistant Bryce Shafer, said it’s the attention to detail Post pays to the small things that have added up to this sustained success on a larger scale.

“He’s doing everything right all the time,” Shafer said. “If you’ve ever walked around campus or walked around the field with Coach Post, you know he stops 50 times to pick up a piece of trash.

“He wants everything to run right; he wants the field to look nice, and he wants you to do the right thing,” he added of his current mentor. “He wants you to do what you think is the right thing all the time.”

Post said that attention to detail and urging of doing the right thing are just a few ingredients he has been able to positively implement during his time in Kankakee.

“Recruiting is a big part of that, doing things right and developing these players,” Post said. “Developing socially and athletically, but you also have to put your time in in the classroom and get that degree to give yourself an opportunity to move on at various levels academically.”

During Post’s tenure, 12 players have been drafted by a major league organization or played independent professional baseball and two players he coached, Bryce Redeker and Casey Fletcher, are a couple of the 11 total NJCAA Region IV Hall-of-Famers from KCC.

Seeing his own name added to the previous list of 10 hall-of-famers from the school, a list that features names such as former Major League Baseball player Tom Prince and basketball coaches such as Denny Lehnus and Donnie Denson, a pair of coaches Post said he has modeled himself after, has helped to give him a sense of the effect he has had on others.

“To be voted in, I think that it kind of gives you a feeling that you’ve made an impact on some people,” Post said. “And I appreciate being thought of as a hall-of-fame coach.”

The son of a teacher, Phyllis, Post was influenced by both his mother and father Robert to go down the career path he has navigated successfully. Perhaps the most beautiful part of that path came the past two seasons, when Post was able to coach his son, Dylan, at KCC.

Dylan was able to play baseball for his dad in various youth leagues along the way, culminating at the junior college level. Now a student at Illinois State University, Dylan said his dad has a tough coaching style, something that pairs well with the person he is.

“He’s got good morals; he knows a lot about the game, and he educates a lot of young people,” Dylan said of his dad. When they play for him, they don’t always see eye to eye because he’s hard on them, but when they move on, they realize he made them a better player and better person in all aspects of life."

”He just wants everyone to succeed.”

Dylan’s athletic career saw plenty of success, as he was on Bishop McNamara’s 2015 football state championship team and the 2017 boys basketball third-place team.

Todd was able to be at both of those games, but there were times, especially during Dylan’s high school basketball and baseball days, when he wasn’t able to watch his son.

A supportive family, including wife Julianne and daughter Jordan, was able to be there while Todd was with the Cavaliers, which Post said is a representation of how vital his family has been to his success.

”You give and you take, but my wife has been very supportive,” Todd said. “She’s never missed a game.”

Just as the Post name has become part of everyday life at KCC, the Cavaliers also have become a part of the Post family. For Dylan, a memory of his dad after the Cavaliers’ 2017 World Series title perfectly symbolizes that.

”He actually slept in his uniform the night they won it, the trophy in his lap,” Dylan said. “It meant a lot to him to win it, and it meant a lot to me seeing him so happy and his hard work pay off.”

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Mason Schweizer