Solomon returns to Notre Dame as Associate Head Coach

Glenn and Stacey Murphy Head Men’s Basketball Coach Mike Brey has announced the return of Anthony Solomon to his coaching staff as Associate Head Coach for the 2021-22 season. 

A veteran of the Atlantic Coast, BIG EAST and Atlantic 10 conferences, Solomon’s 32-year career has established him as one of the most well-respected educators in the game. 

“As our program considered what staff changes we needed to reach the level of our expectations, I reached out to Coach Solomon as a logical starting point,” Brey said. 

“He was a key member of our staff for our most sustained period of excellence. It is the right time for him to return and help push us to even greater heights.” 

The Fighting Irish won 255 games (.676 winning percentage) over 11 seasons with Solomon on the sidelines which included nine NCAA tournament appearances, 10 postseason tournament berths, three NCAA Sweet 16 advancements, two conference titles and two NCAA Elite Eight efforts. 

“Some of my greatest experiences and memories have taken place at Notre Dame with Mike,” Solomon said. 

“I treasure March competition and over the years we have experienced some great successes consistently together. The Notre Dame community and the surrounding area have been great for me and my family.

“My enthusiasm to return is as high as ever. The immediate focus is to grow our habits and establish an identity where needed that will position us for consistent success collectively and individually.”

A member of Brey’s first coaching staff at Notre Dame in 2000-01, Solomon helped guide the Irish to the 2001 BIG EAST West Division Championship and the second round of the NCAA tournament. Notre Dame won over 20 games and 10 conference games in the first three seasons Solomon was on the staff – including a run to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2002-03 – before he accepted the challenge to rebuild the St. Bonaventure program in 2003-04 after an academic scandal gutted the Bonnies’ program. 

Solomon spent four years as the head coach at St. Bonaventure, then a year as an assistant at Dayton before returning to Notre Dame in 2008-09. Over the next eight seasons, Solomon helped Notre Dame become one of the most consistent programs in the BIG EAST and the ACC, earning seven trips to the NCAA tournament, claiming the 2015 ACC Championship with victories over Duke and North Carolina in Greensboro, North Carolina, and making back-to-back Elite Eight appearances in 2015 and 2016. 

In his time with the Irish, Solomon helped mentor and develop a long list of outstanding guards, including David Graves, Matt Carroll, Chris Thomas, Chris Quinn, Kyle McAlarney, Tory Jackson, Ben Hansbrough, Eric Atkins, Jerian Grant, Pat Connaughton, Demetrius Jackson, Steve Vasturia and V.J. Beachem. It is an impressive list of perimeter players, but Solomon also worked with the Irish frontline players – Troy Murphy, Ryan Humphrey, Jordan Cornette, Torin Francis, Tim Abromaitis, Jack Cooley, Zach Auguste and Bonzie Colson – in his time on the Irish staff as well. He is known as ‘Coach Slo’ to those that played for him and ‘Slo’ to his friends and colleagues. It is a childhood nickname that has stood the test of time. 

Over the 11 seasons that Solomon was a member of Notre Dame’s staff, the Irish finished the season with an average adjusted offensive national ranking of 18.5 and an average defensive ranking of 97 according to The Irish were 14-10 in the postseason (11-9 in the NCAA tournament) during Solomon’s tenure and finished with an average of 4.5 in the season’s final conference standings. 

Solomon has spent the last four seasons as the associate head coach at Dayton under head coach Anthony Grant. The Flyers recorded one of the program’s most memorable seasons in 2019-20, rising to a No. 3 ranking in the country and developing Obi Toppin into the consensus National Player of the Year while Grant was named the consensus National Coach of the Year. Unfortunately, the Flyers – who were among the favorites to make the Final Four – saw their season end abruptly due to COVID-19 safety precautions. 

Solomon returns to the Atlantic Coast Conference as he rejoins the Irish, a conference in which the 56-year-old’s roots run deep. He is a 1987 graduate of Virginia, where he helped the Cavaliers make three NCAA tournament appearances, including a trip to the 1984 Final Four.

His coaching career started as a graduate assistant at Delaware for the 1988-89 season (Brey would serve as Delaware’s head coach from 1995-2000) before assistant coach positions at Bowling Green (1989-92), Manhattan (1992-93), Richmond (1993-94) and Virginia (1994-98). He also was a member of the Clemson staff from 1998-2000 as the Director of Operations before joining Brey’s first team at Notre Dame for the 2000-01 season. 

The Notre Dame program also is thrilled to welcome back Coach Solomon and his wife Tracy to the Irish basketball family. The couple has three children, Maya, Kamra and A.J. (Anthony) who either participated or will participate in college athletics. 

Maya is currently the Director of Operations for the Dayton Women’s Basketball team after serving as a graduate assistant at UNC-Greensboro for two seasons. She was a four-year varsity letter winner on the women’s basketball team at Maryville University in St. Louis, Missouri. 

Kamra graduated from Penn High School in Granger, Indiana, in 2016, then attended Furman where she played soccer and graduated in 2020 with a Health Sciences degree. 

A.J. graduated in May of 2021 from Chaminade Julienne High School in Dayton, Ohio, and has committed to play baseball at Gardner-Webb in the fall of 2021.

What They Are Saying About Anthony Solomon

“Coach Slo became a second father to me during my time at Notre Dame. Not only did he help me turn into a better basketball player, but he helped me become a better man on and off the court.”

 – Jerian Grant, 2015 First Team All-ACC, 2015 NBA First-Round Draft Pick

“Coach Slo was someone who had a tremendous influence on my basketball career both on and off the court. I’m excited for Coach to be able to make his mark on the future players within the Notre Dame program at an age when it is not only important to develop skills on the court but work ethic and mental toughness off the court.” 

– Pat Connaughton, Guard, Milwaukee Bucks; 2015 NBA Draft Pick; 2015 ACC Champion; 2015 Third Team All-ACC

“Coach Slo’s track record as a coach speaks for itself. However, looking back at my time as a player while he was on staff, I vividly remember the attention to detail and the high standard he holds the players to on the court, in the locker room, and in the weight room. He will elevate the program’s culture beyond what it already is. Welcome back, Coach!”

– Kyle McAlarney, 2008 First Team All-BIG EAST

“‘Spread your wings!’ Coach Slo taught us all that we could fly. He challenged us to new heights academically and athletically because he saw the greatness within us all even before we saw it in ourselves. He is the embodiment of passion, purpose and poise. His mission is to help young people set and reach their goals. Welcome home, Coach. Not done yet!”

– Demetrius Jackson, 2016 Second Team All-ACC, 2016 NBA Draft Pick

“Coach Slo has been on the Irish sidelines for all the peak moments during Coach Brey’s magical runs at Notre Dame. The Sweet 16, ACC title and two Elite Eights. That is no coincidence. His return is major. He demands accountability, he develops guys, and Slo has an uncanny ability to establish a trust between player and coach. With a renewed sense of toughness and refined brand of ball, expect a return to meaningful March basketball for Irish hoops with Coach Solomon coming home.”

– Jordan Cornette, Notre Dame All-Time Leading Shot Blocker, 2005 Graduate, ACC Network Analyst/Host

“I’m truly excited to see Coach Solomon return to a place he truly loves and considers home.  The Notre Dame community is once again getting a tireless worker who is a teacher first. The young men in the program will benefit from his presence on and off the court.”

– John Thompson III, Former Georgetown Head Coach; Vice President of Player Engagement, Washington Wizards

“Having Coach Solomon back at Notre Dame is exciting — he coached me when I was here as a player. I learned a lot from him then and I am eager to work with him now as a fellow coach. 

Our staff has done a lot of great work to develop our roster of young men both on and off the court and I know that Coach Solomon will continue to add to what we are aiming to achieve.”

– Ryan Humphrey, Notre Dame Assistant Coach, 2002 First Team All-BIG EAST, 2002 NBA First-Round Draft Pick

Anthony Solomon File

DelawareGraduate Assistant1988-89
Bowling GreenAssistant1989-92On Jim Larrañaga’s (current Miami FL HC) staff
ManhattanAssistant1992-93On Fran Fraschilla’s staff, 1st NCAA berth in 35 years for Manhattan
RichmondAssistant1993-94HC Bill Dooley named CAA Coach of the Year
VirginiaAssistant1994-98NCAA Elite Eight 1995
ClemsonDirector of Basketball Operations1998-20001999 NIT Runner Up
Notre DameAssistant2000-032003 NCAA Sweet 16
St. BonaventureHead Coach2003-07
DaytonAssistant2007-08NIT Quarterfinal
Notre DameAssistant2008-16Back-to-Back NCAA Elite Eights (2015, 2016), 2015 ACC Title
DaytonAssociate Head Coach2017-212020 Atlantic 10 Title
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