Smith Tabbed to Lead Solon Girls Basketball Program


Ryan Murken

Your Prep Sports

Jamie Smith wasn’t really looking for a change.

After nine seasons as the head coach at Interstate 35 high school in Truro Smith had resigned but wasn’t necessarily looking for a new coaching job.

“I could have stayed here for 30 years and been happy,” Smith said.

After stepping down Smith heard from a few people about coaching opportunities.

Every person he talked to seemed to bring up the same job – the opening as the head girls coach at Solon.

“Solon has such a rich history in athletics and that was very intriguing,” Smith said. “I wasn’t actively looking but everybody I talked to said it was absolutely a place I needed to look at not just from a basketball stand point but just the community and the school system and the way they treat their coaches and employees.”

Smith tossed his name in the ring for the position and earned an interview but still wasn’t sure.

Five minutes was all it took to convince him.

“The first five minutes I was in on the interview I just told myself please don’t mess this up,” Smith said. “I kind of knew within the first five minutes that this would be a great place to work.”

Smith didn’t mess up the interview and last Friday the 20-year coaching veteran was announced as the new Solon girls basketball coach.

He takes over for Lisa Bishop who resigned in February after three seasons leading the program.

“I’m certainly excited about the opportunity,” said Smith who plans to move to Solon this summer. “Like I said, I wasn’t really looking but this was a situation that I couldn’t pass up.”

Smith won 130 games over the past nine seasons at I-35, leading the Roadrunners to the first conference title in program history.

Prior to taking over the girls program at I-35 he was an assistant boys coach at Winterset.

Interstate 35 had just one losing season under Smith and won 16 games or more four times in his nine seasons.  

Solon was 6-16 last season.  

“We are going to look to go, I think that kids, parents and fans like that and we try to make it so the kids play,” Smith said. “We are going to have structure and continuity but we want kids to be able to play the game without having to look over at the sidelines and that’s something that we have really worked on the past four or five years.