Matt Logie and Damion Jablonski have demanding lives. Logie is the men's basketball coach at Whitworth University and Jablonski is his top assistant. They spend many hours monitoring the development of their young people, devoting time and energy toward growing those individuals physically, intellectually and spiritually.
Then they go to work at Whitworth.
Life as basketball coaches and life as new dads have come together in a new way for both Logie and Jablonski this season. Julia Logie gave birth to son Lucas on May 15th, the couple's second child. Jami and Damion Jablonski celebrated the birth of daughter Vivienne, their first, on May 26th.
So as the two coaches navigate their second year leading the 13th-ranked Pirates, who have begun the season 5-1, they also must sail through the parental perils of raising very young children. And both love it.
"One of the greatest joys about being a coach is watching players improve throughout their careers," Jablonski said. "It seems like Vivienne is doing something new for the first time every day, so I get to enjoy that same pride and excitement for her accomplishments."
Both are learning to balance life at work with life at home on the fly. Logie has had a head start on parenting with daughter Addison, who turns three in February.
"Understanding what comes next each day makes things much easier," Logie said. "You are just more comfortable in your own skin as a parent. It's almost like going through a second season with our basketball program."
Though Jablonski's learning curve is steeper, he is figuring things out quickly.
"I am learning to be far more efficient at home and work," he said. "I've definitely been utilizing the 5:00 am hour more than I used to - whether watching scout video or changing diapers."
Perhaps most reflective of the quality of their character as fathers and coaches, both have made plenty of room in their hearts and minds for the families and team that they love. And they are sharing the entire experience together, along with Julia and Jami.
"What I look forward to the most is the smile and way their faces light up when they see me come home at night or waking up in the morning," Logie said of Addison and Lucas. "Obviously it is great as a coach to have an impact on the lives of other people's children, but ultimately my responsibilities as a father and husband come first."
Both Logie and Jablonski acknowledge that they could never make their lives as coach and father work without the support of Julia and Jami.
"I am blessed to have a wife who allows me to follow my passion for coaching and that enjoys having our family be a part of it," Logie said.
"Thankfully Jami is a great mom!" Jablonski added.
And Julia and Jami acknowledge the challenges involved in sharing parenthood and life with a basketball coach.
"It is a challenge working around the busy schedule of a coach," Jami said. "But it is a blessing being a part of a community of people that enjoy supporting Whitworth athletics."
Julia is able to see fatherhood and coaching not as separate identities for Matt, but as elements of his whole being.
"I love the positive impact that he makes on these young men's lives and how much he cares," she said. "I would much rather be married to someone who loves his job and works unconventional hours than someone who was home every night at 5:00 pm and was unhappy."
Finally, Logie cites the Whitworth Community as one that strongly supports both of his roles.
"The whole Whitworth community has been a tremendous asset," he concluded. "We have met so many great people and young families here that it has allowed us to find balance in both areas."