(Editor's Note: Montana State Press Release)
BOZEMAN — Montana State head men's basketball coach Matt Logie rounded out his first Bobcat coaching staff on Tuesday, announcing the hiring of three veteran coaches.
University of Montana assistant coach Zach Payne, San Diego State staff member Sam Scholl, and Point Loma assistant Julius Smith each join Logie's first staff. Each brings experience in all levels of coaching and recruiting and strong ties to the Northwest and West Coast. Logie also announced the retention of Director of Basketball Operations Colin McGettigan.
"I couldn't be more excited about the staff we've built here at Montana State during this transition," Logie said. "Obviously anytime you take over a program there are many factors to consider in building your staff: experience, recruiting ties, conference familiarity, trust level, and institutional knowledge, etc., and I think we hit it out of the park in all of those areas with this staff. In Zach Payne and Sam Scholl you have two guys that have extensive D-I experience, both in the Big Sky conference as well as the WCC, not to mention someone who has been a D-I head coach for four years and was in the NCAA Championship game just a few weeks ago. Julius Smith is someone that has been integral to the success of our basketball family for the last four years at Point Loma and will hit the ground running in both the recruiting arena as well as the practice floor this summer. Colin McGettigan has been a part of the recent success of Bobcat basketball and is a perfect match for our basketball family's culture here at Montana State. It's been great to hit the ground running with these guys."
Payne brings five seasons of experience in the Big Sky Conference to his new post, enjoying four winning campaigns during his time at Montana (2019-23) and a winning regular season at Portland State (2018-19). He helped recruit and develop productive freshman classes at UM while managing the program's academics. That effort produced grade point averages over 3.15 and the National Association of Basketball Coaches Team Academic Awards throughout his time in Missoula.
"Zach was on the ground floor of my basketball dreams as a head coach," Logie said, "first as a player at Whitworth during my first two seasons as a head coach, followed by three seasons on my bench at Whitworth. I truly wouldn't be in this position without his investment into our basketball family. Since our last time working together, Zach has been a part of tremendous success at Western Oregon and has followed that up with five years in the Big Sky Conference at Portland State and University of Montana. He is an exceptional mentor, especially with front court players, and knows exactly the type of players that will succeed competing for us. I'm thrilled that he will be joining us."
Payne graduated from Whitworth in 2014 and began his coaching career at his alma mater in 2013-14 as a volunteer assistant before becoming a Pirates graduate assistant the next two seasons. Payne moved to Western Oregon in 2016-17, when the Wolves advanced to the GNAC Championship Game. The next year WOU finished with a 31-2 record, winning the GNAC regular season and tournament titles and rising to a No. 3 NCAA Division II ranking. Originally from Danville, California, Payne coached at Portland State in 2018-19 before moving to UM.
A long-time college coach in San Diego, Scholl enjoyed a first-hand look at San Diego State's run to the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship Game this season as the Aztecs' Basketball Performance Advisor during the 2022-23 season. A former Toreros player, he spent four seasons (2018-22) as head coach at San Diego. The Gig Harbor, Washington, product became USD's interim head coach late in the 2017-18 season, a campaign that saw USD win 20 games and reach the CollegeInsider.com quarterfinals. One season later San Diego advanced to the NIT.
"Sam brings over 20 years of Division I experience to our bench, including four years as a head coach in the WCC," Logie said. "But more importantly, Sam is someone that I have known for a very long time and have a great deal of trust in his eye for the game and experience in the business. Having just been a part of San Diego State's run to the NCAA Championship game, Sam knows the importance of our family culture, emphasis on player development, and what it takes to compete at the highest levels of college basketball."
Scholl played at San Diego in the 1998-99 and 1999-2000 seasons, when the Toreros completed a 38-18 record. He worked as a student assistant coach in 2000-01 before becoming an assistant coach from 2001-08. From 2008 until 2015 he worked as assistant coach at Santa Clara. The Broncos won 24 games and the CollegeInsider.com Tournament in 2010-11, and 26 games in 2012-13 along with the College Basketball Invitational (CBI).
Smith worked as a Point Loma assistant during Logie's four seasons there, helping the Sea Lions to an 82-23 record (61-10 in the PacWest Conference) with four straight NCAA Tournament appearances. Previously Smith coached at Riverside Poly High School and such elite AAU programs as West Coast Elite Basketball and the Cali Rebels. He played basketball at William Jessup University in Rocklin, California.
"Coach Smith has been by my side for the last four years and done an absolutely phenomenal job of building relationships with our student-athletes as well as selling the vision of our basketball family," Logie said. "His experiences in player development, particularly at the guard position with players like Lamont Butler of San Diego State as well as the multiple all-conference perimeter players we had at Point Loma will be a critical piece to our player development process and help our student-athletes reach their potential both on and off the court."
McGettigan came to MSU a year ago after two seasons as a graduate assistant and four as an undergraduate student manager at Colorado State. He also spent four years aiding USA Basketball, including time with the gold medal U.S. National Team leading to the Tokyo Olympics. He is a 2020 CSU grad with a bachelor's degree in economics.
"Colin is an extremely impressive young coach who blew me away with his passion for Bobcat basketball and organization during this transition," Logie said. "Colin bleeds blue and gold and will make a huge impact in the experiences and development of our student-athletes because he coaches from a place of love and care for our players, which is a perfect fit for our basketball family."