After 11 years of the grind of coaching a women's college basketball team, Kathy Solano decided last season to let someone else take the headaches while she enjoyed the simpler life as an assistant at Syracuse.
But Solano felt the need to coach again, and UMBC accommodated her yesterday by giving her the head coaching position, which became vacant when Sue Furnary resigned in March.
"The position there certainly sounded intriguing and I certainly wanted to be a head coach again, so I figured why not," said Solano, 37.
Solano, who played for the New Jersey Gems in the defunct Women's Basketball League in 1978-79, compiled a 181-141 record in 11 years of coaching, which included a nine-year stint at Manhattan. She won two Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championships there and received two NCAA tournament bids.
Before Manhattan, where she was also an assistant athletic director, Solano spent two seasons at C.W. Post in Greenville, N.Y., coaching a team, which in 1982-83 made the NCAA Division II tournament with a 25-8 record, finishing fourth in the Division II polls.
Solano, who beat out six other finalists, inherits a team that went 11-16 last season, but returns six seniors, including all-Big South guard Missy Quille.
With the expansion of the NCAA women's tournament field from 48 to 64, the Big South will receive an automatic bid.