Brian Solemsaas was named the volunteer assistant coach for Arkansas State on Oct. 4, 2016.
Solemsaas helped the Red Wolves to its first winning season (28-27) since 2014. He assisted the team in a number of areas by throwing batting practice, filling in to coach first base, aligning the defense, and serving as bullpen coach.
The Red Wolves achieved a fielding percentage of .967 during the 2017 campaign for the fifth-best mark during the Tommy Raffo era at A-State. The A-State offense set the school record for hit-by-pitches with 100 and also tied for the most home runs during the Raffo era with 34. The team had the highest runs per game (6.02) and RBI per game (5.40) this season in the BBCOR bat era, which began in 2011. The offense also stole 62 bases which was just one away from tying the most during the Raffo era.
Additionally, the A-State pitching staff accumulated 462 strikeouts in 2017, which is the second most during Raffo's tenure. The Red Wolves' hurlers also spun three shutouts during the season for the most since 2014. A-State reliever Tyler Zuber was chosen in the sixth round of the MLB Draft at the conclusion of the season after leading the team with 80 strikeouts in 52.1 innings and a 2.06 ERA along with a 6-1 record and six saves.
A native of Bismarck, N.D., Solemsaas (pronounced SOLE-em-SAAS) comes to A-State after spending the 2016 season at John A. Logan College, a two-year school in Carterville, Ill., where he was the pitching/bullpen coach. Most recently he was an assistant coach with the Battle Creek (Mich.) Bombers of the Northwoods League, a summer, wood-bat league with teams based in Michigan, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, and Ontario, Canada.
Prior to his lone season at John A. Logan College, Solemsaas was an assistant coach for MLB-China where he oversaw the development of Chinese youth players ranging from 12-19 years old. Additionally, he was the lead infield and hitting instructor for the summer development camp.
Solemsaas played collegiately at Upper Iowa University in Fayette, Iowa where he was an All-Northern Sun Intercollegiate selection as a pitcher. He was also named to the league All-Academic team twice, was a team captain, and was the president of the school's Student-Athletes' Advisory Committee (SAAC) prior to graduating Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in wellness/fitness and recreation in 2009.
He moved on to Southern Illinois where he was a graduate assistant for the baseball team for the 2010 and 2011 seasons with roles that included being the assistant pitching coach and field maintenance prior to graduating with his Master of Science in kinesiology.
His next two stops were Clarke (Iowa) University (2012) and Wayne State (Neb.) College (2013) before he enjoyed a two-year stint at Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho. He was the pitching coach at all three stops and was also the pitching coach for the Myrtle Beach Ghost Crabs of the Myrtle Beach Collegiate Summer Baseball league from March-July of 2012 before taking over as head coach from August of 2012 to July of 2013.
Throughout his collegiate coaching career Solemsaas has helped 13 players earn all-conference status, five players claim all-region honors, and five named All-Americans.Last season, Matthias Dietz of John A. Logan College was the Great Rivers Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year along with being named National Pitcher of the Year by Perfect Game USA. John A. Logan's shortstop Tyler Robertson was named the GRAC's Player of the Year a season ago, while Tyler Davis was the Great Northwest Athletic Conference co-Newcomer of the Year in 2015 under Solemsaas's tutelage and went on to be named the GNAC Player of the Year in 2016.