DALLAS — The Dallas High School athletics office announced on May 7 that Jordan Sollman is officially the new head coach for the Dragons boys basketball team, following the resignation of former head coach Trent Schwartz.
Sollman played basketball all the way through high school, and had several offers to play collegiately, but turned them down because he wanted to pursue the other aspect of the sport: coaching.
“I fell in love with the ability to mentor and taking that road, and being able to coach in college,” he said.
So when the position opened up at Dallas, it was one Sollman said he couldn’t pass up.
“I’ve always been really involved in leadership, and coaching just really popped out to me, and when I graduated (college), that was always something I pictured myself doing,” Sollman said. “I really love the game of basketball, and I found myself here six years ago as a college student, and I applied just to volunteer coach when Trent (Schwartz) was the coach here. I was very blessed to work under Schwartz and get his perspective of the game and follow his mentorship and understanding different aspects. Basketball has always been a passion of mine … and any chance that I can get to mentor kids and still be involved in the game I love is a win-win situation.”
Taking on the position of varsity head basketball coach means his time on the tennis courts with the girls tennis team might look a little different next season.
“(Tim and I) still haven’t really discussed that too much yet,” Sollman said, in regards to whether or not he will still be the head coach of the tennis team. “I absolutely loved the last five years of coaching tennis, and any way that I can still stay a part of the program, regardless of what that looks like, I’ll take advantage of it. I’ll be involved in one aspect or another; it’s a highlight of my spring. The girls tennis team has always been awesome.”
Sollman has been involved with the Dallas School District since 2012. He was the junior varsity and assistant varsity basketball coach for two years, the freshman basketball coach for two years and the JV basketball coach for two years.
In 2015, after graduating from Western Oregon University, he was hired on as a psychology teacher for Dallas High School.
Now that he’s officially in position as head coach, Sollman is wasting no time diving in and developing a vision for the 2019/20 season.
Building relationships is at the core of that vision.
“Coming in, I’ve done my own professional development, I’ve been going around and talking to different coaches and positions in our league, different coaches in my past that I’ve had, and one of the biggest things is setting the stage, and just building relationships with the kids and the staff that I have coming in,” Sollman said. “Something that I’ve taken to heart with my running of the tennis program the last several years, is that I feel like whatever system — offensive, defensive — principles that you want to align and bring in, none of those matter unless the kids buy into what you want to do. And that starts with the relationships that you build with them. I think that out of all the pillars that I live by, my No. 1 thing is building relationships and putting these young athletes in a position to be good human beings, have strong academics, be champions in the classroom ... so that it will translate to positive things that will happen on the basketball floor.”
In November, when things get rolling for the team, Sollman said his lineup will consist of mostly fresh faces.
“Varsity wise it will be a pretty young group,” he said. “We have one returner that was a full-time player, so it will be a fairly new varsity look next year.”
A new team; a new coach. The perfect ingredients to open up a new path of success for the Dragons basketball team, and that’s all Sollman said he wants for it.
“I’m excited to have the opportunity to build and bring Dallas basketball back on the map, and excited to see who the kids blossom into over the next couple years.”