JanetHolstWhen Janet Holst-Behrens arrived in Salem in 1995, she also inherited a Lady Wildcat basketball program that had posted just one winning season in the previous 14 years. Twenty-one years later Holst-Behrens has built a model of consistent success and took the program to levels it had never reached before.

Prior to her stop at Salem, Holst had put together a highly successful stint at Newcomb, New Mexico where she compiled a 134-60 record during her eight seasons there, which included four straight 20 win seasons. It took a little while for Holst to rebuild the Salem program, as her first three teams combined for a 33-46 record. Starting in the 1998-99 season her teams had winning campaigns in 17 of the next 18 years, which included twelve 20 win seasons. Her teams won six conference championships, a run that began when it claimed the North Egypt Conference championship in 1999 when it compiled a perfect 14-0 record. That was the first conference title for the Lady Wildcats in 20 years. After Salem moved to the Apollo Conference for the 2003-2004 school year, her teams won the title in 2005, 2008, 2009, 2011, and 2012.

The Lady Wildcats had never won a regional championship until her 1998-99 team not only ended that drought, but added sectional and super-sectional titles before they fell 47-45 to Glenbard West on a last-second shot in the quarterfinal round of the Class AA state tournament.

That 1998-99 team compiled a 28-3 record and easily broke the previous school record of wins for a season (24) set back in the 1978-79 campaign. Holst’s 2004-2005 Salem squad matched that 28-3 record, while her 2011-12 team established yet another school win record when they went 29-5. Her Salem teams won 10 regional championships (1999, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, and 2016) and two sectional titles (1999 and 2012). Her 2011-12 team reached the Class 3A Elite Eight, while her 2007-08, 2009-10 advanced to the Class 3A Sweet 16. When Holst-Behrens stepped down after the 2015-16 season she had compiled a 426-206 record at Salem and a 560-266 career mark.

Holst-Behrens was twice selected to coach the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association All-Star Game (2007 and 2016). She also served on the IBCA All-State and Hall of Fame Committees.

Starting with the 1996-97 season, Holst-Behrens was assisted by her husband, Scott Holst until his death in an automobile accident in Dec. 2012. That was not the only family connection Holst-Behrens had during her time at Salem, as she coached all three of her daughters. Riley graduated in 2012, while twins Shelby and Sydney graduated in 2015.

Also during her time at Salem Holst-Behrens served as an assistant coach for the Lady Wildcat volleyball team for three seasons, 1995-97. Those teams won three NEC championships, three regionals and the program’s only sectional.

At the time of her induction into the Salem Sports Hall of Fame, Holst-Behrens has relocated to Marengo, Iowa where she serves as a biology teacher at Iowa Valley High School.