FREDERICKTOWN — Ten years is enough for Dave Logan.
Logan, the Fredericktown High School girls basketball coach since 1999, formally submitted his resignation to the board of education last week, ending an era for the Freddies. Logan posted a 119-100 mark at the helm for the Freddies, including a 25-1 season in 2007-08. The Freddies made a run to the Division III Regional Final before suffering their first — and only — defeat.
“Ten years is a pretty long tenure at any one place,” said Logan. “I didn’t have any specific amount of time in mind. I just really enjoyed being around the young women. I only considered giving it up one other time, but it worked out perfectly for me that I didn’t do that. I knew this time that the time is right. A lot of people said that last year the time would have been right, but that wouldn’t have been fair to leave one year on the table when I could finish with my daughter and some of her classmates. I’ve been around those kids a long time.”
Throughout his tenure, Logan coached many great players, including his daughter Mackenzie, and her graduation this year is one of the reasons he decided to step down.
“Mackenzie is going to graduate and I’m going to have a freshman in high school and a freshman in college at the same time,” said Logan. “It would be impossible to watch them both play as much as I want to (if I was still coaching). It was really a good time for me to exit.”
The Freddies, who are coming off a 9-14 finish this season, won the MBC title with a perfect 14-0 mark in 2007-08. It is the only championship Logan’s teams won, though, they did finish runner-up four other times.
“Going 25-1 and getting more wins than any other team is special. That group of players meant a lot,” Logan said, “but overall, being able to stay with it and have kids continue to improve was also special. We had some ups and downs, but we weathered them. I think the kids that have gone through (the program) are better citizens than they would be if they had not played basketball. That’s not because of me being there, but because of the lessons that come from being involved in athletics — I’m a basketball guy — and in basketball. They are vital to their futures. I’ve had kids that have gone through and turned out to be wonderful citizens.”
The postseason wasn’t as kind to Logan as he might have wished. His teams didn’t win a game until year four, and it wasn’t until year seven (2005-06) that they began to put something together. He finishes with an 11-10 postseason record at Fredericktown.
“I won my first tournament game against Northmor, and then lost to Pleasant in the next round. This year, we did the same thing so it was kind of ironic,” said Logan. “I lost my first three tournament games, but in my fourth year, we beat Northmor. ... It is kind of interesting to say the least. Pleasant has been the thorn in my side.”
The road to the championship wasn’t an easy one for Logan or Fredericktown. It took a lot of hard work to accomplish the goals the Freddies set forth.
“My first five teams, if I could go back and coach them again, I know I could do a better job,” said Logan. “As with anything in life, you get better as you do it. It was tough the first couple of years; we didn’t have a lot of kids that played much, but we were able to get better. That first year, there were some determined freshmen that were going to put it on solid ground again. Kelsey Zollars, Brittany Kandel, Shena Beheler and Laura DeMarco were freshmen that year, and as they went through, we turned it around. They had a real good year as seniors; then, after a blip on the radar, the class of 2008 came in and we steadily improved again.
“We were able to find some common ground over the course of time,” continued Logan. “We played solid defense, and although we really didn’t have anybody that was a prolific scorer, we had some very good players. We got it done by playing team basketball at both ends of the floor. The only way you can do that is if you have kids that are willing to spend the time in the spring, summer and fall. That’s really been the difference.”
The opportunity to coach his daughter is something that Logan would not give back. Though it might not have been the easiest task to take on, it has been one of his most enjoyable.
“I started by coaching my sister-in-law and ended it by coaching my daughter,” Logan said. “It has been better for me than for (my daughter) I would guess. I think most kids who play for their parent would say the same thing. The biggest thing for me was to have the opportunity to spend time with her. When kids get to be teenagers, the parents become less smart and less cool and the kids don’t necessarily want to spend time with them. I had the opportunity for four basketball seasons, six days a week and sometimes seven, that I was going to be with her, whether she wanted me to be or not. I got to spend four years doing something I love with my own kid.”
AS he turns his attention away from coaching the Freddies, Logan says he is far from being done with basketball. He is simply taking a step back to enjoy his family and consider the option for his future.
“I really want to coach (in the future). I’m not done,” said Logan. “I’m not that old so that helps. I’m coaching my son’s spring AAU team. We are going to play four or five tournaments before baseball gets into full swing. I really, really enjoy the summer (workouts). It is my favorite part of the job. Kirk (Manns) is really busy being an administrator, so I am hoping that I can get involved with the boys this summer. I’ve got a boy that is going to be a freshman, so I’m not done coaching. I’m just not coaching girls for a little bit.
“Who knows; maybe I’ll go back. I still enjoy (coaching), and I like the preparation, but I’m going to have my principal’s license here in a couple of months and maybe that’s in my future. I’m not sure right now, but that a possibility. I just want to spend the next four years at least watching both my kids play. I’m not sure about further into the future career-wise. I could do any number of things.”