After four seasons as head coach of the Point Loma Nazarene University men’s basketball team, Matt Logie has accepted the head coach position at Montana State University, a Division I school. PLNU’s athletic director, Ethan Hamilton, announced Logie’s departure early last week.
During Logie’s tenure at PLNU, he coached his way to an 82-23 (.781) record and led the Sea Lions to the NCAA West Regional in all four seasons. This most recent season has been the most memorable and record-breaking after the Sea Lions became the first PacWest team to go undefeated during the conference regular season.
Logie’s team went 20-0 in conference, and 29-4 overall before being eliminated in the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Division II playoffs. According to Logie, the successful season was a nice way to end his time at PLNU.
“I’ve always tried to leave places better than I found them and I hope that I’ve done that in this case. I’m forever a Sea Lion,” said Logie.
The Sea Lions’ historic 2022-2023 season under Logie earned him a few accolades that likely caught the eye of Division I schools. Logie was named the PacWest Coach of the Year and the National Association of Basketball Coaches West District Coach of the Year.
Reflecting on his time at Point Loma prior to this most recent season, Logie noted there were plenty of ups and downs.
“The most difficult times were definitely the COVID-19 obstacles. Canceling the NCAA tournament in year one was rough, as well as the challenging year to follow in terms of navigating all of the changes,” said Logie.
It was in Logie’s first year as head coach that the Sea Lions’ season was cut short, which at the time was devastating considering the team held a 24-6 record and had earned an automatic berth into the NCAA West Regional.
According to Logie, the team’s goal was undoubtedly to rebound and be back when health restrictions from COVID-19 allowed. He was pleased with how the program continued to move in the right direction, heading into his second year as PLNU’s head coach.
In the four years Logie called PLNU home, the team’s successes trumped the challenges brought on by COVID-19.
“There’s so many special memories but it all revolves around those many special relationships,” Logie said. “Both regular season championships and the journeys those teams embarked on were incredibly special, but ultimately it’s the people.”
A few of those people whom Logie mentioned were his assistant coach Justin Downer and three-time PacWest Player of the Year winner Kaden Anderson.
Anderson carried the brunt of the workload during Logie’s PLNU career and played a pivotal role in the team’s success these past four years. Downer, who coached under Logie during the historic 2022-2023 season, will fill Logie’s role as head coach next year.
“I am thrilled to be able to hand the program over to a member of my coaching family in Justin Downer,” said Logie.
As Downer steps into the shoes of Logie at PLNU, Logie will head to Montana State University to take over a Division I program that has appeared in the NCAA tournament in back-to-back seasons.
Logie’s no stranger to winning and coaching in high stakes playoff games, however. The pressure to take over the talented MSU program is arguably less of a factor than it was when he was brought on to coach at PLNU, after the team was coming off of a 31-5 season and an appearance in the NCAA Division II Championship game.
“When you take over a program [PLNU] who just played for the national championship and then have to replace all 5 starters, that’s a heavy lift,” said Logie.
Logie will become the 24th coach at MSU and leave some big shoes to fill at PLNU. The Sea Lions have qualified for six straight NCAA West Regionals—the longest active streak in the region—and will look to build on their momentum.
Hamilton said, “Matt has put the team in a great position for the next head coach to continue with the incredible success we have had.”
Written By: Nick Hancock