The second Hatcher era at Logan High School is reportedly coming to an end after just one season.
According to sources, Logan basketball coach Allan Hatcher has resigned.
“He has stepped down as the basketball coach. It won’t be made official until the next school board meeting which is May 12,” one source told The Logan Banner late on Tuesday night.
Hatcher came to his alma mater Logan High School last year, succeeding his son Mark Hatcher, who had led the Wildcat hoop progam for 15 seasons, guiding the Wildcats to two state championships, eight state tournament appearances and an overall record of 236-130 — the second-winningest coach in LHS basketball history behind the legendary Willie Akers.
Allan Hatcher, who came to Logan from county rival Chapmanville Regional, where he had led the Tigers for three seasons including the school’s first state tournament berth in 2014, was the tri-captain of the Logan basketball team during his senior season in the 1973-74 roundball campaign.
Hatcher, a former head coach at Williamson High School, where he led the Wolfpack to the state championship, was also a former Akers assistant coach.
Hatcher called Logan his “dream job” and hoped to continue the success enjoyed by son Mark.
That success, however, eluded him as Logan struggled for much of the the 2015-16 season and often had trouble on the offensive end of the court, playing several low scoring games. Logan failed to score 60 points in any of the Cats’ last 14 games — a stretch in which LHS was just 5-9.
The Wildcats finished with a disappointing 10-14 record, eventually falling 53-41 at Hurricane in the Class AAA regional championship game.
It was Logan’s third losing basketball campaign in the last four seasons. The Wildcats had beaten Spring Valley 40-35 in the Class AAA sectional tournament but lost 71-52 to Huntington in the sectional finals.
While many Logan fans were upset at the Wildcats losing games and lack of offensive firepower, there were also Hatcher’s health concerns.
Late in the season, Hatcher suffered a heart attack and underwent triple-bypass surgery in which he is still recovering. He missed the last few games, including the entire post-season. In Hatcher’s absence, assistant coach Stan Elkins assumed the head coaching responsibilities.
In a late season 65-49 loss at Wyoming East, Hatcher fainted near the bench area after reportedly feeling dizzy. The game was delayed a few minutes after Hatcher received medical attention. He was reportedly deemed in good condition and went home after the game. Elkins led the team after Hatcher left.
Logan High School will soon be looking for a new coach — its third coach in three years.
Next year will be a transition year for the Wildcats, which will be dropping back down to Class AA status for the first time since 2003-08.
Logan will also be rejoining the Cardinal Conference along with former 3A schools Nitro and Winfield.
Logan will play in a new Class AA sectional next season along with county rivals Chapmanville and Man and also Mingo Central, Scott and Lincoln County, another former 3A school which will be 2A for the first time.
The Wildcats will lose three seniors due to graduation — 6-foot-8 center Ben Kazee, 6-4 forward Augustine Chukwu-Noe and 6-4 forward Khalil Murphy — but the bulk of the team will return.
Hatcher said in an earlier interview he was happy to come back to Logan and follow in the footsteps of Coach Akers and his son.
“I played for Coach Akers and he had such an impact on my life,” Hatcher said. “He had a certain style that you played. He was successful. Coach Akers had a tremendous intangible about him. The kids played so hard for him. They would run through a wall for him. What Mark did is that they played so hard for him because they knew that he really cared about them.”
Hatcher had 11 state tournament appearances in Kentucky and West Virginia in his coaching tenure.
The Wildcats have not made it to the state tourney since 2012 — a 63-50 loss to Martinsburg in the Class AAA state quarterfinals.
Logan then suffered back-to-back losing seasons in 2013, going 8-17 and then having a 10-13 mark in 2014.
The 2014-15 Logan team, the last coached by Mark Hatcher, the Wildcats started out 11-1 and finished with a winning season at 13-6.
Logan last won a state championship in 2010, beating Wheeling Park 63-48 in the state finals and then returned to the state tourney in 2011 with a 64-48 setback at the hands of Morgantown in the state quarterfinals.
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).