|Photo by Larry Radloff, d3photography.com
The active coach with the highest winning percentage in NCAA Division III men's basketball will be heading to NCAA Division II. Matt Logie, who has a winning percentage of .840 in his eight seasons at Whitworth, was announced as the new head coach at Point Loma Nazarene this morning.
Tim Demant, Whitworth's athletic director, also announced that associate head coach Damion Jablonski will be elevated to the role of head coach for the Pirates.
"The basketball family at Whitworth will always be a part of my family and I am so grateful for all of the incredible experiences we have shared together, which have made these the best eight years of my life," Logie said. "I would like to give special thanks to Warren Friedrichs and President Beck Taylor for their belief in me eight years ago and to Tim Demant, Melinda Larson, and the late Aaron Leetch for their leadership as athletic directors. To our players and families, past and present, thank you for enriching my life, and my family's, with your trust, love and commitment. I would also like to thank the amazing coaches who have poured into this program and made us successful. They include Jim Hayford and Craig Fortier, for the foundation they established here, associate head coach Damion Jablonski and our assistant coaches Jase Wambold, Matt Melka, Zach Payne, Patrick Frost, Kenny Love, Kyle Hurst, Elijah Gurash, and C.J. Johnson – you have made such a difference in the lives of our student-athletes, and the Logie family. To the greater Whitworth community and supporters – you are all so special to us. While we are embarking on a new adventure and challenge, we will be rooting for the Pirates every step of the way. "
Logie posted a record of 194-37 in his eight seasons at Whitworth. He guided the Pirates to six Northwest Conference regular season titles, seven NWC tournament crowns, seven appearances in the NCAA Division III tournament and two trips to the NCAA Division III round of 16. Along the way he became the first coach in NCAA Division III history to reach 100 wins in his first four seasons as a head coach. His winning percentage of .840 leads all active NCAA coaches, regardless of division.
Logie went 113-17 (.869) against Northwest Conference opponents. The Pirates finished 21-6 in 2018-19, the eighth time Whitworth reached 20 wins in his tenure.
"I am so grateful for Matt's leadership of the Pirates these past eight years," Demant said. "Matt stepped into the shoes of some very successful coaches and not only continued the level of excellence, but established himself and the program as one of the best in the country. His commitment to his players was a key to his success. He and his family will be missed, but we wish them great success as they transition to San Diego."
Logie takes over a program that finished 31-5 and reached the NCAA Division II national championship game this season. He replaces Ryan Looney, who left PLNU to become the new head coach at Idaho State University. Looney went 69-28 in his three seasons with the Sea Lions.
"My family and I are humbled and honored to have the opportunity to lead a basketball program with such great tradition, potential, and mission fit as Point Loma Nazarene University," Logie continued. "Athletic Director Ethan Hamilton and President Bob Brower shared with us an exciting vision for the continued success of Point Loma basketball. I would also like to thank my wife Julia and our entire family for their love and support as we embark on this new chapter. We are looking forward to being a part of the Point Loma and San Diego community and cannot wait to get started."
PLNU will be Logie's second collegiate head coaching job. Logie came to Whitworth from Lehigh, where he was the top assistant coach in 2010-11.
Demant did not have to look far to find Logie's replacement. He has tabbed Jablonski, who has served on Whitworth's staff for eight seasons, the last six as associate head coach.
"While it is always difficult to lose a great coach, the transition is made easier when you have another great coach waiting in the wings," Demant said. "Damion has been a part every aspect of this program's success and has demonstrated that he is ready to wear the big shoes left by a great Whitworth coach. I am excited to promote him to this role. His knowledge of the game, care for his players and commitment to Whitworth's mission is exactly what we want."
Jablonski has coordinated Whitworth's recruiting efforts throughout his eight seasons. His work was instrumental in players such as All-Americans Kyle Roach and Kenny Love becoming Pirates. Jablonski focused on post player development and defense in Whitworth practices.
Jablonski and Logie coached several players to post-season accolades over the last eight seasons, including Northwest Conference Players of the Year Kyle Roach (2018), George Valle (2016), Kenny Love (2015) and Dustin McConnell (2014). All four were also All-American honorees, with Roach garnering first team recognition (NABC) in 2018.
"I am truly honored to be chosen as the steward of such a tradition-rich program," Jablonski said. "On behalf of my wife and family, I would like to thank President Beck Taylor, athletic director Tim Demant, Matt Logie, as well as all of the current and previous players and staff that have made this opportunity possible. I am so excited to continue mentoring our student-athletes while cultivating the relationships within our community that make Whitworth so special."
Jablonski also came to Whitworth from Lehigh, were he and Logie coached on the same staff during the 2010-11 season. Prior to his year at Lehigh, Jablonski was an assistant coach for three seasons at Oakland University (Mich.), moving up from graduate assistant to video coordinator. During his time at Oakland, he also coordinated travel, strength and conditioning and directed camps.
Jablonski will take over a team that returns two starters and several key reserves.
"None of what we have accomplished at Whitworth would be possible without Damion," Logie said. "Most importantly, Coach J has been a tremendous friend and has modeled the values of Whitworth basketball every step of the way. I will be forever grateful for his investment into our program and mentorship of our student-athletes. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Coach J will continue to build on the tradition of Whitworth basketball. I am thrilled to be able to pass the baton of leadership on to Coach J and cannot wait to see what lies ahead for the Pirate basketball family."
"It is bittersweet that I'll no longer be coaching with my best friend," Jablonski responded. "Matt's mentorship and his ability to make me feel valued in my role as his assistant is perhaps the greatest leadership lesson that I have learned. Just as our student-athletes develop deep friendships by going into battle by each other's side, Matt and I have formed a bond that will never be broken. I couldn't be happier for the opportunity that God has provided his family."
Jablonski is ready to get to work continuing the success of one of the strongest men's basketball programs in NCAA Division III.
"Every year we bring in new players while losing others to graduation," he said. "However, our commitment has been to uphold the values of our program and university. I cannot wait to honor God, follow Christ, and serve humanity with our new and returning players."