Solon Turns to Graduate Lesan to Lead Boys Basketball Program


Ryan Murken

Your Prep Sports

SOLON – More than a decade after leading the Solon boys basketball program to new heights as a player Matt Lesan is coming back home to lead the Spartans again.

Lesan was named the head boys basketball coach at Solon on Monday 12 years after graduating from Solon as the school’s all-time leading scorer.

A 2007 Solon graduate Lesan replaces Jason Pershing who stepped down last month after going 58-57 in five seasons leading the program.

“It’s a dream come true,” Lesan said. “Any time you get a head coaching job offered to you obviously you are very excited about leading that program and then when you get an opportunity to lead a program that you played at 12 years its very surreal.”

As a player Lesan led a basketball resurgence at Solon helping the Spartans to the second state tournament appearance in program history and first since 1973 in 2006.

Lesan averaged 22 points and was a first-team all-state selection as a senior in 2007 and closed his career at Solon as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 1,841 points.

Following an all-conference playing career at Division II Upper Iowa Lesan spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Solon and mostly recently spent two seasons as a varsity assistant coach at City High.

“This being my first head coaching job experience is definitely something that I’m going to go through and have some mistakes and some errors along the way but being from Solon and going through the program in Solon and knowing how things are done and what to expect I feel like will really help me,” Lesan said. “I know I have a really good grasp on that and the sense of culture that Solon is.”

Solon won a combined 29 games during the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 seasons before finishing 9-12 a year ago, the first sub-.500 record for Solon since 2015-2016.

The Spartans return four of their top five including each of their top two scorers from last year’s team.

“I want my players to be great role models on and off the floor,” Lesan said. “Athletes are held in very high standard and lots of kids look up to them and I want my athletes to be high-character athletes. Along with that I want them to be the hardest working team. I want people to leave the game and say those guys are really hard working and they work for each other.”

In addition to his coaching duties at the high school level Lesan will teach fifth grade at the Solon Intermediate School beginning next fall.

“I am wery thrilled about my teaching position as well and just being a part of the community again on different levels is really exciting,” Lesan said. “I am just very, very excited about this opportunity and very thankful that the administration and the community are giving me this opportunity.”

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