Ken Solarz

Inducted in 2016

Ken Solarz (Class of 1968) lettered in football, basketball and baseball. His biggest impact on Upsala athletics occurred after his return to Upsala in 1983 as the school's business manager and athletic director. At that time he also became the volleyball head coach, amassing an impressive 484-181 record over 28 seasons. The 484 wins placed him in the Top-15 winningest volleyball coaches in Minnesota history at the time of his retirement. His teams won ten Prairie Conference titles and in 2000 became the first team in school history to win a section championship and a state tournament berth.

In baseball, Solarz skippered for 21 winning seasons, finishing with 302 wins against 159 losses. His teams won seven conference championships and back -o-back Section 5A titles in 2005 and 2006, becoming the first Upsala-Swanville paired teams to go to state. The 2006 USA Patriots entered the State Tournament undefeated and the topped ranked team in Class A.

Coach Solarz was honored with several Prairie Conference Coach of the Year and Section Coach of the Year awards in both volleyball and baseball. In 1999 he was also named District 19 Athletic Director of the Year. Active in community athletics, Solarz played 21 seasons for the Upsala Blue Jays, coached Little League, Little Six and Legion baseball teams, and was a charter member of the Upsala Ballpark Association.