BOZEMAN — As Montana State began its hunt for a new men's basketball coach, there were several requirements athletic director Leon Costello was searching for in a candidate.
First and foremost, he wanted a coach that had experience at the division one level and was a proven winner, someone that could continue to build on Montana State’s previous success, but more importantly, a coach that wasn’t afraid to take over a championship program.
That search came to an end on Monday with the hiring of Montana State's 24th head coach in program history Matt Logie, sparking a new era of Bobcat Basketball.
With 12 years of head coaching experience, Logie comes to Montana State with a championship mentality, sporting one of the best active winning percentages (.826) for a head coach in college basketball with a 276-58 career mark.
He most recently comes from Point Loma Nazarene where he went 82-23 over four seasons, while also notching three PacWest conference championships.
“I'm a big believer that it starts with your people, that grows into your culture, and that allows you to prepare properly," Logie stated during his introductory press conference. "Once the preparation is done, it's time to execute when the lights come on. That's how winning gets done.”
Logie shared that a lot of his coaching philosophy comes from his late grandfather Ed Pepple, who was a high school basketball coach for 42 years in the Seattle area at Mercer Island, and was someone he truly learned the game of basketball from during his time spent as both a ball boy and player.
“I know he's looking down today with a huge smile on his face, and he's probably waiting to remind me of the importance of offensive rebounding, to which I usually reply, if we make the shot, you don't have to rebound," Logie smiled. "Grandpa, I love you. I'm here because of you and your basketball family has just taken on a whole new branch on our family tree.”
“Grandpa, I love you. I’m here because of you, and your basketball family has just taken on a whole new branch on our family tree.”— Ashley Washburn (@ashleyjwashburn) April 19, 2023
A really touching moment from #MSUBobcatsMBB Matt Logie’s introductory press conference about his grandfather: pic.twitter.com/4DPhx2GS0r
During his eight-year tenure at Whitworth University, Logie was no stranger to the Big Sky Conference.
He coached in four exhibition games against Montana Grizzlies head coach Travis DeCuire, but their relationship stretches back more than 30 years.
“I had a chance to watch play in high school," Logie recalled. "And then as I rose up and got older, he came back and started his coaching journey under my grandfather and, you know, played up played a role in my development as a player.”
As part of the interview process, the new head coach shared that already met with the team on Sunday.
“As I described to them at that time, you know, my viewpoint of that meeting was not that it was part of the interview process, but it was part of our first team meeting," Logie added. "They know what I'm about already.”
With growing concern over the number of Bobcats entering the transfer portal since the departure of Danny Sprinkle, Logie is hoping to ease the minds of Bobcat fans.
“I know the recent days have brought a lot of adversity, uncertainty, and change, but that's often how opportunity is disguised," Logie stated. "Bobcat family, you have shown what is capable here in Bozeman. Big Sky Championships victories over the Griz. As well as NCAA tournament appearances. That is why we're here. There's no such thing as a four-year plan in today's college basketball environment. We came here to win and the best is yet to come. Go, Cats. Go.”
To this point, six Bobcats have entered their names into the transfer portal, but three of those players were present Wednesday for Matt Logie’s introduction including Robert Ford III, Great Osobor, and RaeQuan Battle.
While it’s uncertain if any of them will stay with Montana State, Logie says he’s already met with nearly every player individually and hopes to get on the court as early as Thursday.