Sports

Mercer Island prep star named head Whitworth basketball coach

In this 1999 file photo, Matt Logie hugs grandfather Ed Pepple shortly after the Islanders won the boys basketball state championship. Logie recently accepted the head coaching position at Whitworth University. - File photo
In this 1999 file photo, Matt Logie hugs grandfather Ed Pepple shortly after the Islanders won the boys basketball state championship. Logie recently accepted the head coaching position at Whitworth University.
— image credit: File photo

Matt Logie, a 1999 Mercer Island High School graduate, was chosen last week as the new men’s basketball head coach at Whitworth University.

Logie, who played basketball all four years at MIHS for his grandfather Ed Pepple, was previously the assistant head coach at his alma mater, Lehigh University, in Pennsylvania.

“It’s really exciting,” he said. “It cuts about 39 hours off my commute. It’s great to be back in the Pacific Northwest.”

Logie said it has long been a goal to return to the area and he stayed in touch with the basketball community here, knowing if the right opportunity presented itself, he wanted to have the chance to throw his name in. When the job at Whitworth became available and he learned more about the university, he said he knew it would be a great opportunity.

“The more I learned about Whitworth and the success they’ve had as a program, I knew it would be appealing,” he said. “Professionally, to be a head coach is really exciting.”

Whitworth was 28-2 last season and advanced to the NCAA Division III Sectional Final.

While Spokane may not share a city boundary with Seattle, it’s certainly much closer to home than the Logie family used to be.

“I have a 14-month-old daughter and my wife is from the Portland area, so it’s much closer to home,” he said. It also means it’s much easier for family to come see his games, even when the Pirates play at home, including Pepple, who Logie said was thrilled with the new position.

“He was excited,” said Logie. “It was a month-long process, but once things started to look a little more secure, he was thrilled. I couldn’t have been happier to have him at the press conference last week.”

Whitworth, a Division II NCAA school, plays teams like Pacific Lutheran University and the University of Puget Sound, meaning it will be even easier for family and fans to see Logie and the Pirates in action.

“I look forward to having him at games and getting his two cents,” said Logie.

After just a few days on campus, Logie said he has been getting to know the players and the program, and has quickly been impressed.

“The people here have been so welcoming and supportive. It’s just been very exciting,” he said. “I’ve been spending some time getting to know the players and the area.”

Logie was a member of the 1999 Mercer Island basketball team, which won the state title.

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