Sports

COACH OF THE YEAR | Logue molds Wolves into consistent title contender

Marcus Logue has guided South Kitsap’s baseball team to the Class 4A state championship game in both of his two seasons as coach. - File Photo
Marcus Logue has guided South Kitsap’s baseball team to the Class 4A state championship game in both of his two seasons as coach.
— image credit: File Photo

Past recipients

2013: Marcus Logue

2012: Todd Olson

2011: Mark Lutzenhiser

2010: Chad Nass

2009: Michael Krug

2008: Jim Fairweather

2007: Chad Nass

2006: Eric Bergeson

2005: John Callaghan

2004: Eric Bergeson

He graduated a senior-laden roster that advanced to the Class 4A state championship game.

Despite that, South Kitsap baseball coach Marcus Logue experienced no less success this spring.

For those reasons, Logue was selected as the Port Orchard Independent’s Coach of the Year.

Logue is reticent to talk about his accomplishments — a 43-12 record and two state championship appearances in as many years as coach — but his players have no qualms discussing the role their coach played in the team’s success.

“Coach Logue has been outstanding,” said Logan Knowles, who will play baseball next year at the Naval Academy. “He’s wanted to learn from us and we learn from him as well. Last year, he was getting to know things but jumped right in and did an amazing job. This year has been no different. I feel like he has been a great coach for all of us.”

Junior Mac McCarty, who was the pitching MVP in the 4A Narrows League, shared similar sentiments.

“He was always there to encourage us,” he said.

And push them.

On June 2 — two days after the Wolves’ 7-1 loss against Puyallup in the state title game in Pasco — the team returned to the high-school weight room for a workout. Logue said it was an example of a team’s commitment to success.

“Our guys have the ability to come in on a daily basis and buy into our process,” he said.

Logue is grateful for the opportunity. He came to South in 2008 as a student-teacher and left two years later in search of a full-time teaching position. Logue then returned to South in 2012-13 when he was hired as a government/politics teacher. He almost lost his position last summer when the school district needed to eliminate several teaching positions in an effort to balance its budget. Logue credits the support of his wife, Natalie, who is an assistant nurse manager at Harborview Medical Center, and others with helping him through that “difficult time in my life.”

“There were a lot of people in my corner supporting me,” he said. “I appreciate that.”

South only has had three baseball coaches since 1976 and athletic director Ed Santos is happy he did not have to seek a fourth.

“He’s a young, old-school coach,” he said, referring to Logue. “He does everything right.

“He treats kids the right way. He’s unbelievably positive. He puts in tons of time and energy.”

Santos said that extends beyond Logue’s work on the field.

“He’s not only a fantastic coach — he’s a fantastic teacher,” he said. “He’s all-in for kids. He’s a great addition to our staff and our school.”

Logue said he and his coaching staff emphasize repetition and focusing on “one or two details each practice” that need improvement. He believes that focus enabled the Wolves to finish 12-0 in 4A Narrows — their first undefeated record in league play since 2000.

“We constantly evaluate where we’re at and what we can do better,” Logue said.

That began last fall when Logue took his captains out golfing. They discussed several topics, including their 8-5 loss against Skyview in the 2013 title game that was highlighted by South’s nine errors.

“That’s going to happen with a team that doesn’t have experience at that level,” Logue said.

To counteract that, Logue reiterated to his players throughout the playoffs that they should treat the venues in a similar fashion to their 4A Narrows League opponents — only with “a few more people in the stands.” The message seemed to resonate as South’s only two playoff losses came against Puyallup. And neither would be described as error-laden.

“I tried my best not to build anything up,” he said.

Except a program.

The Wolves have not had a losing record since 1988, but never have made consecutive state-championship appearances until now. The 28-year-old Logue wants success to be an expectation at South, where the late Elton Goodwin guided the Wolves to three state titles as coach from 1976-2003. Logue said he recently took his captains to a game at the University of Washington. The Huskies finished with a 41-17-1 record and were second in the Pac-12.

“We want to create that sort of atmosphere,” Logue said. “I think if we continue to buy into that, hopefully we’ll continue to obtain the results we’re looking for.

“As long as we believe this is where we’re supposed to be it doesn’t have to be special.”

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