Coach gets a kick out of soccer

US Youth Soccer names Logan regional coach of the year for his wide-ranging service
By: Todd Mordhorst Journal Sports Editor
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Jim Logan said he didn’t do anything special last year to garner recognition as one of the top youth soccer coaches in the country. As he has for several years, the Applegate man coached teams at three different levels and drew rave reviews from players, parents and fellow coaches. It was just another year for Logan. The United States Youth Soccer Association recognized Logan’s dedication to the sport, naming him the Region IV Recreation Coach of the Year. Logan was one of just four boys coaches in the country to earn the honor and he is a strong candidate for the National Coach of the Year award, which will be handed out next month in Louisville, Ky. “I’ve coached two or three teams for years,” said Logan, who coaches the Colfax High boys soccer team. “That year I coached at the high school, too. I’ve been involved with TopSoccer (a program for disabled youth) since it started and that’s been really good. I usually coach a recreational team from the Placer Hills Club and then the under-16 team is one that I had coached for years.” Logan’s fall afternoons and evenings are jam-packed with practices and games. He’s been involved coaching his sons Jimmy, 16, Jake, 14 and Josh, 8. And he can’t seem to get enough time on the field. “Sometimes you think, ‘Maybe I won’t do it this year,’” Logan said. “But the kids want to play and volunteers are in short supply… and it’s fun. I’m not the only person out there coaching several teams.” US Youth Soccer involves more than 3 million players from ages 5 to 19 each year. More than 900,000 administrators, coaches and volunteers are involved in the programs, meaning Logan is in select company. He was nominated for District 6 Coach of the Year for his work with various teams following the 2009 season. That award made him eligible for California State Coach of the Year, which he received last spring. He won his latest honor by beating out nominees from Region IV, which includes all of the states west of New Mexico and Montana, including Alaska and Hawaii. “He is so deserving,” fellow 49er United coach Robert Ruzette said. “I really hope he wins the national award. I think he’s got a good chance.” Colfax High senior Joey Rooker played for Logan for two years and was thrilled with the experience. “Everything he does is very professional, but he’s really a nice guy, too,” said Rooker, who captained the Falcons last fall. “He’ll work with you individually on things and he knows what he’s doing. He’s a really great guy to know.” Logan is trying to pass his love of coaching on to the next generation. Several of his club and high school players volunteered to coach youth teams or got involved with the TopSoccer program. “It’s been really good to get the older kids involved and encourage them to give back,” Logan said. “Especially with TopSoccer, it’s pretty enriching to work with those kids.” After coaching for eight years in all, Logan said working with a wide variety of age groups and skill sets helps keep him sharp. “It’s something I’ve talked about with other coaches because you have to teach things differently,” he said. “You have to emphasize different things. With the younger kids I want them to appreciate the sport, come back next year and bring a friend. In many ways I think it’s made me a better coach. It’s definitely interesting to go from one practice to another.”