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Logan’s 14th season at Warwick will be his last
By: BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor email@example.com, Staff Writer
Late April Fool’s Day joke, right?
That was probably the initial reaction from the Warwick girls soccer players when head coach Mike Logan and assistant Carli Brill broke the news to them last Tuesday, April 3 that they were stepping down after this season.
This was no joke, however.
Logan’s 14th year on the Lady Warriors’ sideline will indeed be his last, citing a desire to spend more time in other interests as the reason for his decision. Brill is moving on after three seasons as Logan’s assistant.
Actually when pre-season workouts began on March 5, Logan was focused on having a successful spring season and then preparing for a quick turnaround as girls soccer in District Three moved to the fall.
But then a conversation Brill had with the Warwick girls’ boss toward the start of the season led him to doing some soul searching.
"(Carli) came to me and started talking to me about the amount of time it takes (to coach) and how she really loves it, but that she just needed more time to do other things," said Logan, 57, who notified Warwick Athletic Director John Kosydar of his decision last Monday, April 2. "And honestly, she started getting me to think about the same thing."
It was just two years ago that Logan took early retirement from Donnelly after 26 years. But his goals to spend time traveling and kayaking with his wife, Kim, never happened.
"After two years," Logan said, "I realized that I had just kinda filled all that time back up with a lot of soccer commitments."
Under normal circumstances, Logan would have waited until season’s end to submit his resignation. But a post-season run would take the Warwick girls until the end of May or beginning of June, and then that would have left Kosydar with short notice to find a successor.
"I thought it would have been really, really wrong to wait until that time to tell them," Logan said. "It just would have been unfair. As much as I didn’t want to make this decision and announce it in the middle of a season, I thought in fairness to the athletic department and Kosydar and the program to give them time to find another coach that I really had to do it as soon as possible."
In 13-plus seasons at the helm of Warwick’s program, Logan’s teams have compiled a record of 138-87-17 with one L-L League crown (1999), a Section crown title (1999) and a Section Two championship (2011).
Furthermore, the Lady Warriors have advanced to the District Three playoffs in 10 of the past 13 seasons, along with making three appearances in the PIAA State Tournament, and they are the only team in Pennsylvania to win the NSCAA’s Academic Award for the past 12 years.
"Scholastic sports are supposed to be a balance of athletics and academics. We have a team here that is very competitive based upon the last 12, 13 years, and at the same time, is at the top of the nation in their academics," said Logan, who . "And I don’t see that changing. I really don’t. I see that continuing to go in a positive direction."
The 138th win of Logan’s tenure came on April 3, when the Lady Warriors defeated Penn Manor by a 3-1 score. Logan and Brill thought the time was right after that game to let their players know about their plans.
"I don’t think they saw it coming," said Logan, who also spent three seasons as an assistant with the Manheim Township girls before taking the Warwick job in 1999. "We decided we wanted to do it on a positive note. We beat Penn Manor 3-1 and we thought that would be a great time to do it and not communicate it as a negative. I really thought when we told them, they all kinda looked at us with a little bit of a look in their eyes like, ‘What’s the punch line?’ I think they were waiting for us to tell them, ‘We’re just kidding,’ or ‘April Fools.’ But I think they’re doing fine with it."
Logan acknowledged that it was not an easy decision to hang up the whistle. He was quick to point out that the players, parents, booster club, school and community have all been very supportive throughout his tenure.
"It’s a first-class group, so it took a lot of thinking and soul searching before I made the decision," Logan said.
The fact that he sees a lot of solid returning players and talented newcomers in the middle school ranks didn’t make it any easier.
"It’s a good program and it’s going to continue to be good," Logan said.
But he believes the time is right. He wants to be able to enjoy more trips like the one he and Kim took in February to Costa Rica.
"Since I started coaching high school soccer 17 years ago, Kim has always been 100 percent supportive of whatever I chose to do," Logan said. "So I think I shocked her as much as I did anybody else."
Logan is also looking forward to getting on the road more often in his restored sports car.
"I have a ’68 MG Midget that I love to ride and it sits in the garage," Logan said.
His love of soccer remains unchanged and he will continue to coach at Penn Legacy, in addition to staying involved with the annual Lititz Summer Soccer Showcase. But those ventures won’t be quite as time consuming.
"I just really got this overwhelming feeling that this was the right time to (step down)," Logan said. "The program is still strong and very competitive."
Asked how winning the L-L League crown in 1999 ranks among his favorite memories, Logan said, "Honestly, of all the things that have happened over the years, the things that stand out are mostly the relationships that I’ve developed over the years with players, and some have moved back to the community and have their own families now and still stay in touch. That’s kinda neat. If you’re in high school coaching for money, you’re in the wrong place. So it’s not that. It’s a love of the game and for me, it’s just trying to have a positive impact on our young people’s minds and lives and doing something good. So hopefully that’s the legacy to leave." More LOGAN, page B-3