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Montana State coach Matt Logie has made NCAA Tournament in all 3 college divisions

Logie, the grandson of Washington's all-time winningest high school basketball coach, has Division III, Division II and now Division I Big Dance experience

Matt Logie had already led teams to the NCAA Division II and Division III tournament.

On Wednesday, the first-year Montana State coach will complete the NCAA Tournament cycle when 16-seeded Montana State takes on 16-seed Grambling State in a first four play-in game at 3:40 p.m. 

The Bobcats (17-17) weren't close to NCAA Tournament shoo-ins until they won the Big Sky Tournament as a five-seed to secure an auto-bid.

Now, they are back in the tournament for the third straight year behind a first-year coach with a track record of winning everywhere — and deep ties to the Pacific Northwest. 

When Logie, 43, was hired last April to replace Danny Sprinkle, who left for Utah State, he stepped up to Division I with a career win percentage of .826, which is better than every active NCAA head coach not named Mark Few (Gonzaga) and Jim Crutchfield (D-II Nova Southeastern). 

Logie led D-II power Point Loma Nazarene to an 83-23 record over three seasons and Whitworth was 194-35 in eight seasons during his tenure, and his teams reached the NCAA Tournament 11 of 12 years.

At Montana State, his winning ways have followed. 

Even though Logie hasn't coached in an NCAA Tournament game, he has ties to March Madness lore.

Logie was an assistant coach at Lehigh from 2004-11 and recruited New Orleans Pelicans guard CJ McCollum to the school when McCollum was a late-blooming, undersized and under-recruited guard.

The year after Logie was hired at Whitworth in Spokane, McCollum's 30 led Lehigh to a storied first round NCAA Tournament upset of Duke as a 15-seed.

Basketball fans in the Pacific Northwest may know Logie going back to his days at Mercer Island High School (Washington) playing for the winningest coach in Washington high school basketball history, Logie's grandfather Ed Pepple, who died in 2020.

“He was always right there with me,” Logie told SBLive in 2020.

Here's what he told reporters at an NCAA Tournament press conference Tuesday when asked about Pepple:

"My grandpa, Ed Pepple, was a high school basketball coach in the Seattle area for 49 years, and he spent 42 of those years in one community. I grew up in that basketball family, watching his teams like my son and daughter are these days, and going on those journeys with him. And then ultimately had a chance to play for him in high school.

And that's why I coach, to pay that forward. The lessons that I learned, the relationships that were borne from those experiences are what make me who I am today. And it's been our guiding light as a basketball family for, our vision for this program and for what can be accomplished when you're part of something that's bigger than yourself.

And so while he's not with us today in person, I know that he's with me. Definitely felt his heart and spirit in Boise last week. And it's been really special to be able to pay a lot of those lessons forward."

-- Andy Buhler | | @sblivesports