Whitworth University officially announced Matt Logie as the next men's basketball head coach Tuesday morning in a press conference held in the Hixson Union Building. Many students, faculty, alumni, family and community members were in attendance to welcome Logie into the Pirate family. Logie was accompanied by his daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, younger sister and grandfather.
Originally from Mercer Island, Logie then played basketball for Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA and proceeded as an associate coach for the university through the 2010-2011 season.
Whitworth University President Beck Taylor made opening remarks to the crowd gathered in the HUB. Taylor focused on the encouraging leadership qualities and future integration of Logie and his family into the Whitworth community.
"Matt you're in for a treat, these gentlemen are not only wonderful people and great athletes, they are great contributors to the mission here at Whitworth University. I know the fieldhouse will be rocking during your first game!" said Taylor about the student athletes associated with the men's basketball program.
"We needed to move fairly quickly but also do a thorough job in the process of finding a new coach," athletic director Warren Fredrichs said of previous coach Jim Hayford's decision to accept the head coaching position at Eastern Washington University. A decision which came just one month ago. Fredrichs went on to detail the search process and the people who were involved with the interview and hiring process.
"It is my distinct pleasure this morning to introduce Matt Logie. Welcome to Whitworth!" said Fredrichs in his concluding remarks as he handed Logie a Whitworth cap and welcomed him to the podium.
Logie created some excitement in those gathered for the press conference as he echoed his commitment and personal enthusiasm for the foundation and mission that Whitworth provides for the men's basketball program.
His drive to succeed in both fostering a strong growing environment for his student athletes but also taking part in a championship program.
"My goal was always to lead a championship caliber program and Whitworth is a championship caliber program," said Logie who also stressed the importance of the academic profile that Whitworth maintains.
"People have been asking, 'Why Whitworth?' For me it is very simple, you have an academic profile of excellence. It gives you the opportunity to work with young men of high character, they are high quality people that are striving for excellence in everything they do. You have Christian values that provide an opportunity for growth both as individuals and as a group and team," said Logie.
When questioned about his plans for the future of Whitworth basketball, Logie was firm in supporting and building on an already present foundation, citing Whitworth's excellent 2010-2011 season as evidence for an already strong program. Logie turned his focus to the players who were to deal with this coaching change. He made reference to the fact that he had gone through a similar transition as a student athlete, and was clear to state that it may not be easy. The bond and commitment that the current Whitworth student athletes had made to each other and to the program would benefit his coaching Logie said.
According to Logie, one of the most important things to realize is that tradition is one thing that stays at a university.
"We will honor and we will celebrate the tradition and the foundation that has been built here. The tradition does not graduate. That is one thing that does not leave this program and I'm excited and happy to stand here with that mantra," said Logie about the coaching transition and its impact over then next years of Whitworth basketball.
"We had a great time with coach hayford, but we are excited with the new opportunity that has been given to us, and we're excited to build on the foundation of success from the past," junior center Felix Freidt said of the transition between Hayford and Logie.
"I'm thrilled to be a part of this community, I know that the whitworth students have been tremendous. The community support on campus is phenominal- I want to see everybody back in the gym come November when that first game rolls around." said Logie as he expressed his excitement to become involved with the student body here and to have the student body get to know his family, but most of all he is excited to support the Whitworth mission through his coaching.
"The vision I have for Whitworth basketball is simple, if we strive for excellence every day and if we work to gether to accomplish those goals, we'll gradutate leaders, we'll graduate men of character, we'll graduate champions; but we will not graduate tradition. Our tradittion will serve as the foundation for our future,” said Logie