Brian Solomon to enter Riverside Hall of Fame

Brian Solomon-06102017-0001
Brian Solomon

Brian Solomon is the type of selfless person who helps make high school sports work so well. Solomon has been volunteering his time for more than the last two decades, much to the betterment of the Riverside baseball program.

Now Solomon is now being recognized for his effort.

On Oct. 21, Solomon will be inducted into the Riverside Athletic Hall of Fame in a ceremony at the Riverton Country Club in Cinnaminson.

That is a fitting place for the induction ceremony since Solomon is a 1988 graduate of Cinnaminson. He spent four years as a volunteer baseball coach at his alma mater and is entering his 23rd season as a volunteer baseball coach under Gary Herron at Riverside.

“My running joke is when he stops coaching I stop,” Herron said. “He makes my job so much easier.”

Over the years, Solomon has been given a myriad of responsibilities. He has coached first base, handled analytics — which includes providing Herron with spray charts, where opponents are likely to hit the ball — working with hitters, fielders. You name it.

“To do what he has done and do it on a voluntary basis is amazing,” Herron said. “I am just so thrilled he is going in the Hall of Fame, and it is well deserved.”

The Riverside 1996 and 1997 state Group 1 championship teams will also be inducted, which is special for Solomon since those were his first two years assisting Herron.

Also to be inducted are Rich Jenik and Scott Atkinson, both from the class of 1986.

Jenik was an all-South Jersey soccer player who starred on two state title teams and later was named Old Dominion’s athlete of the year his senior season.

Atkinson, currently the Riverside girls’ basketball coach, was a track standout who finished third in the state in the Group 1 javelin and sixth in the discus.

Solomon had the type of typical response one would expect from somebody who worked behind the scenes so long after being informed of his Hall of Fame honor.

“I think I have done a lot, but I am just a small part of the program, and I am proud of the recognition. But it was not something I expected,” he said. “I am glad they recognized me, but I am still in awe of the honor.”

Solomon’s biggest challenge is juggling his schedule. For 15 of the years at Riverside, he worked full-time in Rider’s sports information department. More recently, he has been working as an accountant. During April, especially around the 15th, he isn’t always able to show up.

“He can’t always make it, but when he is here it makes a big difference,” said Herron, a 1979 Cinnaminson graduate who is in both the Cinnaminson and Riverside athletic halls of fame.

The volunteering extends beyond Riverside.  Since 1998, Solomon has been the assistant general manager for the Burlington County team in the Carpenter Cup, the 16-team all-star tournament in which the semifinals and finals are played at Citizens Bank Park. Since he has been with the team it has won titles in 2006, 2009 and 2012.

In addition, he has been a New Jersey certified emergency medical technician (EMT) since 1989, answering more than 4,000 calls.

In 2007, Solomon was awarded EMT of the year honors by the New Jersey State Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Burlington County VFW District 11 and the Delran, New Jersey VFW Post 3020.

As for baseball, his biggest thrill has nothing to do with wins, losses or championships.

“Probably the greatest thrill is seeing these young men we coach develop as people,” Solomon said.

A graduate of Rider, Solomon has never given his time to earn publicity or awards, but those honors are  a byproduct of the appreciation for giving one of the greatest gifts of all – his time.

It’s been time well spent, and now it is time for Solomon to be honored.