Prep Basketball

Solon turns to graduate Matt Lesan to lead boys' basketball program

Solon's Matt Lesan goes for a breakaway layup during a game against Durant on Friday, Jan. 5, 2007 in Durant. (The Gazette)
Solon's Matt Lesan goes for a breakaway layup during a game against Durant on Friday, Jan. 5, 2007 in Durant. (The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — What’s it like for Matt Lesan to get the chance to return to Solon High School and lead its boys’ basketball program? Let’s just say he’s a bit excited.

“It truly is a dream come true,” Lesan said.

The 30-year-old Spartan grad was officially named Monday to run a program he starred for a little over a decade ago. Lesan was an all-state guard who helped Solon to the 2006 state tournament.

He went on to play at Upper Iowa University, where he is 10th on the school’s all-time scoring list. Lesan has been sophomore coach at Solon and, most recently, a varsity assistant at Iowa City High.

“I’ve got to thank the administration and the community of Solon for welcoming me back,” Lesan said. “It is an opportunity of a lifetime for me. I thank them for being able to live out my dream job. That’s what it is. I am excited, eager, ready to go. I’m excited about the challenges that being a head coach will bring.”

Lesan replaces Jason Pershing, who left after five seasons to become an assistant athletics director at Mount Mercy University. Solon was 9-12 this past season but will return its top two scorers in A.J. Coons and David Bluder and four of its top five.

“The biggest thing for me is to help develop high-character kids,” Lesan said. “I want to build a program that turns out role models on and off the court. That is the first and foremost thing I want to bring ... Basketball wise, I want to play some intense, quick, up-tempo basketball. Bring some high-intensity defense, just really being tenacious. A tough, hard-nosed group of kids is what I want.”

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

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