Lo­gan re­ceives AVCA na­tional honor

The Catoosa County News - - SPORTS - By Scott Herpst sherpst@npco.com

Chris Lo­gan had never coached a vol­ley­ball match be­fore he took over as the head coach of the Lafayette Lady Ram­blers in 2014 at the ripe old age of 22.

To­day, he’s be­ing hon­ored as one of the top young coaches in the na­tion.

The Amer­i­can Vol­ley­ball Coaches As­so­ci­a­tion (AVCA) an­nounced its third an­nual 30

Un­der 30 High School Awards this past week. The award was cre­ated by 2009 to “honor up-and­com­ing coach­ing tal­ent at all lev­els of the sport.” The award was ex­panded ex­clu­sively for high school coaches in 2016.

“It’s great for the pro­gram,” Lo­gan said. “I’ve seen great coaches have bad teams and bad coaches have great teams. It’s all about the girls. As a coach, you try to give the play­ers op­por­tu­ni­ties to im­prove and be suc­cess­ful. They have to show up and put in the work.”

Af­ter los­ing eight se­niors off a 2013 team that fin­ished be­low .500, Lafayette fin­ished fifth in the re­gion in his first sea­son, go­ing 14-23, be­fore im­prov­ing to 23-20 the fol­low­ing sea­son and once again fin­ish­ing fifth in 6-AAAA.

In his third sea­son at the helm, the Lady Ram­blers went 24-22, earned fourth place in the re­gion and made the state tour­na­ment, but they would en­joy a huge jump the fol­low­ing sea­son as Lafayette won a then-pro­gram record 40 matches (40-13), placed third in the re­gion and made the state tour­na­ment.

This past sea­son, Lafayette set a new sin­gle-sea­son mark at 43-8, took sec­ond in the re­gion and won their open­ing-round match in the Class AAAA state play­offs be­fore the No. 7-ranked Lady Ram­blers lost a tough sec­ond-round match at No. 10-ranked Cartersville, the Re­gion 5 cham­pi­ons. Lo­gan was also named the Ge­or­gia Vol­ley­ball Coaches Asso- cia­tion (GVCA) Coach of the Week dur­ing the sea­son.

“Ev­ery year we add an­other layer and try to build on that,” Lo­gan added. “The group of girls we’ve had the last cou­ple of years love the sport and have put in the work. I think this recog­ni­tion is just a re­flec­tion of our ath­letes and their ded­i­ca­tion to the pro­gram.”

Lo­gan has also served as a club vol­ley­ball as­sis­tant coach the past two years (2017 and 2018) with C4 South, where his wife - one-time Lafayette High and Shorter Univer­sity stand­out, Les­lie (Welch) Lo­gan - serves as head coach.

Lo­gan also an­nounced over the week­end that ju­nior Jil­lian Mor­gan was named as an All-state hon­or­able men­tion se­lec­tion by the Ge­or­gia Vol­ley­ball Coaches As­so­ci­a­tion and that Mor­gan will be play­ing in the GACA Ju­nior All-star Game this Satur­day.

Mor­gan is also on the AVCA Phe­nom Watch­list and will be go­ing to a show­case in Min­nesota in De­cem­ber in con­junc­tion with the NCAA na­tional cham­pi­onships.

Chris Lo­gan

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