Zach Green helped Logan High School basketball in its initial resurgence in the 2000s and hopes to do the same at the end of this decade.
Green, a former Logan basketball player and assistant coach for five years under Mark Hatcher, returns to LHS as the Wildcats’ head coach.
Green will officially be named as the new Logan coach on Thursday night during the Logan County School Board Meeting.
Green, 30, spent last season away from basketball as the Wildcats were coached by Allan Hatcher, Mark’s dad.
The elder Hatcher stepped down at the end of the season and retired from coaching due to health concerns.
Twelve years ago during the 2003-04 school year, Green’s senior season, he ended up transferring to Logan from Scott High School along with his brother Lou Green.
It was the beginning of a journey to the top of the West Virginia high school basketball world for the Wildcats.
During that time, Logan basketball was in a rut.
It hadn’t made it to the Class AAA state tournament since 1995 under then coach Tim Murphy.
But then Green and his brother came to Logan and helped turn things around as the Wildcats had just moved down to Double-A that year for the very first time.
The Wildcats made the most out of its opportunities.
Logan’s post-season run began with a 60-44 win over Chapmanville in the first round of the Class AA sectional tournament at the Williamson Fieldhouse.
Then, led by Zach Green’s scoring blitz, the Wildcats thumped Green’s former team, Scott, 70-35 in the sectional finals. The teams had split during the regular season with the Skyhawks winning 65-59 at home and Logan winning 59-49 at home at Willie Akers Arena.
After a narrow, gut-wrenching 42-40 win over then defending state champion Tug Valley in the Class AA regional title game at Williamson, the Wildcats were in the state tournament for the first time in nine years.
Logan then saw its season come to a close at 17-9 with a heartbreaking 42-40 loss to Bluefield in the Class AA state tournament quarterfinals at the Charleston Civic Center.
Green said the 2003-04 season was a memorable one despite the close loss to the Beavers.
“My experience my senior season was amazing at Logan,” Green said. “I transferred there that summer of 2003 along with my brother Lou. When I got to Logan I had no idea what it was like to be in a real program and to be in a program that actually cares about its kids. It was also great to see the community involved and they wanted to see it succeed. I absolutely fell in love with everything about Logan basketball. When I graduated college Logan is where I decided that I wanted to be and coach.”
Green helped lay down a solid foundation.
The next year, Logan was back in the state tournament, led by Lou Green, Brian Lane, Jonathan Bevins, Brett Campbell, C.B. Green, Jeff Williamson, Brantz O’Briant and a host of others. That year, Logan won the 2005 Class AA state championship with a 60-56 win over Westside.
Logan would go on to advance to the state tourney five years in a row, including a state runner-up finish in 2007 — a 61-49 loss to Wyoming East in the 2A state finals.
In 2010, back up at the Triple-A level, Logan took the state title again, led by Noah Cottrill and Paul Williamson.
But Zach Green’s 2004 team was the team that got it started.
“There aren’t many programs in the state that have the tradition with the fans, the loyalty and the overall package that Logan High School basketball has,” Green said. “It truly is special.”
Green said the ‘04 team worked very hard just to make it to Charleston.
“They beat us on a last second shot that year,” he said. “That was at heart-wrenching of a loss as I have ever had. We worked so hard that year. From the time that my brother and I transferred we battled and scrapped and did everything that we could all year. They hadn’t won in a few years at the time and the community was really excited because we were winning games and we had big crowds. Everything about it was just awesome. It was a great year and it was a year that I’ll never forget.”