Aug. 9, 2000
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — University of Notre Dame men’s basketball coach Mike Brey has announced the hiring of Sean Kearney as associate coach, Anthony Solomon and Lewis Preston as assistant coaches and Rod Balanis as director of men’s basketball operations.
Kearney spent nine years (1991-2000) at the University of Delaware, including five seasons as the top assistant to Brey. Promoted to associate head coach prior to the start of the 1998-99 season, he was instrumental in leading the Blue Hens to four NCAA tournament appearances (1992, 1993, 1998 and 1999) during his nine-year tenure. He and Brey together guided the Blue Hens to a 99-52 (.656) record from 1995-2000, including three straight 20-win campaigns (a first in Delaware history) in their final three seasons at the school.
Prior to his arrival at Delaware, Kearney served assistant coaching stints at Providence College (1986-87), Philadelphia Textile (1987-88) and Northwestern (1988-91). During his one season on Rick Pitino’s staff at Providence, the Friars advanced for the second time in school history to the Final Four of the ’97 NCAA tournament by winning the Southeast Regional championship.
After Pitino moved to the National Basketball Association’s New York Knicks, Kearney was an assistant under longtime head coach Herb Magee at Divison II power Philadephia Textile. Followng one season there, he moved on to Northwestern for three seasons under head coach Bill Foster.
A 1981 graduate of the University of Scranton, Kearney was a four-year member of the Royals’ basketball team. During his career, he helped Scranton to three Middle Atlantic Conference titles and three NCAA Division III playoff appearances.
Kearney began his coaching career following his graduation from Scranton when he returned to his alma mater, Cardinal O’Hara High School in Philadelphia, Pa. He spent five years (1981-86) there as an assistant under his former mentor Bud Gardler.
Born November 14, 1959, he and his wife Kimberly are the parents of two daughters, Erin and Shannon.
Solomon comes to Notre Dame following two seasons (1998-2000) with the Clemson basketball program as assistant athletic director for basketball operations. In the spring of 2000, he replaced former Clemson assistant Scott Duncan as an assistant coach, serving one of the two off-campus assistant recruiting positions. Prior to moving to the assistant coaching position, Solomon was responsible for all internal operatons of the basketball program and served as a liaison to the athletic administration, as well as engaging in on-campus recruiting. In Solomon’s first season at Clemson, the Tigers won 20 games and advanced to the final of the National Invitation Tournament (NIT), the first appearance in a final game of a postseason tournament in school history.
A four-year letterwinner and 1987 graduate of the the University of Virginia, Solomon led the Cavaliers to four postseason tournament appearances during his career. His 1984 team advanced to the NCAA Final Four, with two other squads earning NCAA tournament trips and another advancing to quarterfinals of the NIT.
Solomon began his coaching career shortly after graduation when he served as a graduate assistant at the University of Delaware (1988-89). Following one year with the Blue Hens he moved to Bowling Green State University where he was an assistant for three years from from 1989-92, helping the Falcons to two NIT appeareances.
In 1992-93, Solomon was named an assistant at Manhattan College, helping the Jaspers win the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) title and earn a berth into the NCAA tourament season.
He was an assistant at the University of Richmond during the 1993-94 season before returning to his alma mater in 1994. Solomon served as coordinator of recruiting and player development on former Cavalier head coach Jeff Jones’ staff and also was head coach of the Virginia junior varsity team.
During his tenure in Charlottesville, Va., (1994-98), the Cavaliers made two NCAA tournament appearances. In his first season at Virginia, the 1994-95 squad posted 25-9 record and advanced to the Elite Eight.
Solomon enjoyed an outstanding high school career at Warwick High School in Newport News, Va., where he earned second-team all-state honors.
Born December 1, 1964, he and his wife Tracy are the parents of two children, Maya Anne and Kamra Mae.
Preston comes to Notre Dame from Coastal Carolina University where he spent the past year as an assistant on Pete Strickland’s staff and oversaw the academic progress and pre-season conditioning of players, assisted with coaching and recruiting and orgranized team travel.
A 1993 graduate of Virignia Military Institute, Preston was a two-time all-Southern Conference selection and remains the school’s all-time leading shot blocker. He enjoyed a four-year stint playing professionally in Europe. He played for the Lahden Namika Basketball Association during the 1997-98 and 1998-99 seasons, averaging more than 17 points, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots per game during his two seasons. During the 1994-95 season, Preston averaged more than 20 ponts and 12 rebounds while playing for the Tolka Rovers in Dublin, Ireland. In his first year playing in Europe, he averged 25.0 points, 11.0 rebounds and three blocked shots for Palma Ahn in Wormeldange, Luxembourg.
Born October 31, 1970, Preston is single.
Balanis spent the last four seasons at Colgate University in Hamilton, N.Y. He joined the Red Raiders’ program first as a volunteer assistant 1996-97 and then was elevated to a full-time assistant’s position following that season. At Colgate he was responsible for recruiting, player development and the coordination of scouting.
A 1993 graduate of Georgia Tech, Balanis was a four-year letterwinner for the Ramblin’ Wreck under head coach Bobby Cremins. He suffered career-threatening injuries in a car accident in 1988, which forced him to miss the entire 1989-90 season, but returned to lineup the following season. During his career from 1988-93, Georgia Tech earned four NCAA tournament bids and made one NIT appearance. Balanis helped Georgia Tech to two NCAA tournament Sweet 16 appearances in a five-year span and also was a red-shirt on the ’90 Ramblin’ Wreck squad that advanced to the Final Four.
Balanis played at DeMatha High School under legendary coach Morgan Wooten. As a senior, he garnered all-Met, all-Catholic and all-Prince George County honors as the Stags were ranked No. 1 by the Washington Post and No. 5 by USA Today.
A native of Williamsburg, Va., Balanis’ father, George, was the men’s basketball coach at William & Mary from 1974-77. Born March 21, 1970, he is single.