One-on-One with Andy Solomon
Andy Solomon is associate athletic director/communications for The Citadel, which is only one of many hats he wears around town. The Charleston native is also a public relations consultant for the RiverDogs, an adjunct professor and a representative for NCAA baseball regionals, among other things. In between these gigs, he found time to sit down and go one-on-one with The Post and Courier's Ken Burger.
You wear a lot of hats - how do you balance it all?
"I have a very understanding wife and family. I was taught good work ethics and organization from both my parents, so I give them a lot of credit. And if you think I'm organized and busy, you ought to see what my brothers do professionally."
So, what do your brothers do?
"My older brother Gary is a neuro-psychologist in private practice in Nashville. My younger brother Walter is Chief Growth Officer for Ashland Oil in Lexington, Ky."
What is your basic philosophy of public relations?
"It's all about relationships. You have to foster, maintain and retain positive relationships."
How many baseball games do you see a year?
"Between The Citadel, RiverDogs, Southern Conference Tournament and the NCAA Regionals it's close to 100, not counting what I watch on TV."
You're a College of Charleston graduate and you work at The Citadel. Any loyalty issues?
"None whatsoever. I've worked at five colleges - the College of Charleston, Charleston Southern, Winthrop, Limestone and The Citadel. I learned a long time ago that my loyalty can be bought and sold."
A lot of kids today want to go into sports management. What advice do you have for them?
"Volunteer early in your freshman year of college and build a resume. When you graduate, go for a graduate assistantship. If you want to stay in college athletics, a masters degree is imperative."
What's more important, what you know or who you know?
"Who knows you."
You also teach a course in sports media as an adjunct professor at The Citadel. What's that like?
"It's one of the most rewarding things that I do. I enjoy it thoroughly and I would teach for free. They pay me to grade papers."
You're in the NAIA Hall of Fame; you're on the board of the S.C. Athletic Hall of Fame; you started the Charleston Baseball Hall of Fame; and you run The Citadel Athletic Hall of Fame. Should there be a Hall of Fame for being in Halls of Fame?
"There are a lot of halls of fame out there. But having been inducted into one gives me a greater appreciation of what it means to the people I work with who go in. It's an ultimate honor and it gives you time for reflection. But I always thought halls of fame were for old people and dead people, so I guess I'm old."
You just got back from Houston where you ran the NCAA Baseball Regional at Rice University. What's that like?
"That was my sixth regional and the first time the NCAA put me on an airplane to do one out of this region. It's a lot of work, but even more fun. Basically you're the supreme court, the ultimate authority. You're the eyes and ears of the NCAA. Sometimes you have to make unpopular decisions, whether on or off the field. But my experience has adequately prepared me, which is why the NCAA sends me to run those tournaments."
What was the lowest point in your career?
"I was PR Director at Wild Dunes Resort for 11 months when Hurricane Hugo hit in 1989. In one day I lost my residence and my job."