The Logan High School basketball team has their new man.
Green, 30, a former Logan High School basketball player and assistant coach, has been named as the new coach of the Wildcats.
Green’s hiring won’t be made official until Thursday evening at the regularly scheduled Logan County School Board Meeting.
Green came to Logan during the 2003-04 school year as he and his brother Lou Green transferred from Scott High School.
The Greens helped Coach Mark Hatcher’s Wildcats make it to the state tournament for the first time since 1995 as Logan finished 17-9 and eventually lost a 42-40 heartbreaker to Bluefield in the Class AA state quarterfinals at the Charleston Civic Center.
Green then went to Alderson-Broaddus College, where he starred for four years for the Battlers’ basketball team before coming back to his alma mater Logan where he assisted head coach Mark Hatcher for five years.
Last year, Green spent the season away from basketball.
Now, he comes back to Logan where he replaces outgoing head coach Allan Hatcher, Mark’s father, who stepped down after one season at the helm.
Green said he’s excited to come back to Logan. It will be his first head coaching job of any kind.
“I’ve been around basketball my whole life,” Green said in an interview with the Logan Banner on Monday evening. “This is my first head coaching job and it’s at a very well known prestigious program. It’s been a little bit surreal but I’m extremely excited to get started.”
Green will have some work to do.
The Wildcats struggled most of last season, finishing just 10-14 and had trouble putting the ball in the hole. The Wildcats still were close at making it to the state tournament but lost 53-41 at Hurricane in last year’s Class AAA co-region championship game.
Logan also lost senior starters Augustine Chukwu-Noe, Khalil Murphy and Ben Kazee to graduation. Another starter, Braxton Goff, has transferred to Chapmanville but the bulk of the rest of the team will be back this season.
Logan has suffered three losing seasons in the last four years, something virtually unheard of in the rich tradition of Wildcat basketball, which has won six state championships in 1964, 1977, 1978, 1983, 1991 and 2010.
Following Logan’s state title in 2010, the Wildcats reached the state tournament in 2011 and 2012 but have been absent from the Big Dance ever since.
Other changes will be coming to Logan High School basketball for the upcoming 2016-17 season as well.
Not only will the Wildcats have a new coach and a new staff, they will also be heading back down to Class AA ball for the first time since 2008. LHS has been a Triple-A school for most of its existence and competed in West Virginia’s highest classification the last eight seasons after being a 2A school from 2003-08.
When Green played for Logan in 2004 the Wildcats were Double-A back then as well. His brother Lou Green then led Logan to the 2005 Class AA state titles in both basketball and baseball.
Logan will also be playing once again in the Class AA-only Cardinal Conference this coming season and will have a new Double-A sectional as well as the Wildcats will tangle in a tough six-team section with county rivals Chapmanville and Man as well as Lincoln County, Mingo Central and Scott.
Green said he will be following in the footsteps of some pretty big shoes with former Logan head coaches Mark and Allan Hatcher and the legendary Willie Akers of yesteryear.
“That’s surreal and I’ve got a long road ahead of me,” Green said. “There’s going to have to be a culture change within the program. We’ve got the (assistant) coaches that were here before in Fuji (Greg Williams), Brandon (Browning) and those guys. We’re all excited to get started. But there is a huge void there, coming in behind guys like Allan, Mark and Willie. Allan has won more games than I have ever coached in. Those are huge shoes to fill but we are excited. We can’t wait to leave our mark on Logan High School basketball.”
* Logan High School will also announce on Thursday night at the School Board Meeting that Jay Trump will be named as the school’s first ever soccer coach.
Coach Trump has called for an organizational meeting on Thursday at 4 p.m. at the Logan High School Little Theater for prospective players and their parents.
Logan is fielding a soccer team for the very first time beginning with the 2016 season. Chapmanville and Tug Valley will also be having first-year programs.
* Look for more on the hirings of Zach Green and Jay Trump in Wednesday’s Logan Banner sports edition.
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).