Prep Basketball

After 1 season, Matt Lesan resigns as Solon boys' basketball coach

CEDAR RAPIDS — This was his alma mater, a place he had a ton of success at as a player. The future of the program is clearly bright.

But Matt Lesan has a clear plan for his own future, which is why he has stepped down as head boys’ basketball coach at Solon after just one season.

“It was an incredibly difficult decision,” Lesan said late Thursday afternoon. “Something that I spent a considerable amount of time thinking about because of the relationships with my kids and the coaching staff. It was a really, really tough decision to move on and look at some opportunities elsewhere.”

Lesan, 31, hopes those opportunities come with the Iowa City Community School District. He has an interview for a position Friday, after spending time teaching at Coralville Central Elementary School prior to coming to Solon.

He also is studying to get into the administrative side of education.

“That’s kind of the path I see my career going down,” he said. “So that was a big part of this decision.”

Lesan was a starting guard for Solon’s 2006 Class 2A state tournament team and went on to play college basketball at Upper Iowa. He replaced Jason Pershing at Solon, after Pershing left for an administrative job of his own at Mount Mercy University, his alma mater.

Solon went 7-15 in a Murphy’s Law type of 2019-20 season. The Spartans lost their best player, A.J. Coons, to a knee injury in the Class 3A state football semifinals.

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Solon dealt with a myriad of other injuries during the winter as well. The good news is 91.6 percent of the team’s scoring returns next season, with good sophomore and freshman classes coming up.

Whoever the new coach is will be getting a promising club.

“This season was definitely a roller coaster of emotions,” Lesan said. “Just being able to give back to the program that gave me so much was a dream come true for me. To be able to work with the amazing kids that are at Solon and couple that with the coaching staff that I was somehow able to throw together, I mean, it was second to none. I’m so incredibly grateful for my kids and coaching staff because I could not have asked for a better group of people to work with.”

Comments: (319) 398-8259; jeff.johnson@thegazette.com

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