Everyone knew who Julie Solis was — she vaulted Twinsburg girls basketball program to peak levels throughout each aspect of the sport.
This off season, Solis stepped down and elected to take on a new journey as the head coach at Gates Mills Gilmour Academy, the defending state runner-up at the Division III level.
Enter Jess Mazanetz, who was recently named the Tigers’ new basketball coach.
A Hiram College and Crestwood High School graduate, Mazanetz had been the varsity assistant for Crestwood for the last four years.
The energetic Mazanetz is also Twinsburg's volleyball head coach, a position she will maintain along with the coveted basketball post.
"I am looking forward to working in a program with such a strong winning tradition," stated Mazanetz. "I really respect the job Julie Solis has done at Twinsburg and I know I have big shoes to fill."
"I certainly hope to continue that culture of success she [Solis] has built," she added.
Solis joined the Tigers in 2009 and guided Twinsburg to the Division I state titles in 2011 and 2012, while finishing as the Division I state runner-up in 2013. Solis also snagged a slew of district titles as well.
The Lady Tigers have never had a losing record under Solis, having finished the 2017-18 season with a 13-11 record in a rebuilding season.
Mazanetz is looking to build at Twinsburg after positive experiences she has encountered. She played for four years at Hiram College and was a team captain, all-conference, and the leading scorer in her senior season.
In addition, Mazanetz was the junior varsity coach at Aurora for one year and a varsity assistant at Akron Springfield for two years.
A full plate does not even explain the work load she has.
"I know that a lot of people probably think I'm crazy for taking on another program as a head coach - I know my family does, but I have always been a multi-sport athlete and a multi-sport coach,"Mazanetz said.
"My mom is a volleyball coach and my dad is a basketball coach so I think it's just in my blood. I work best under pressure and if I'm going to encourage multi-sport athletes, I want to be able to model that behavior as well."
"I'm just thankful to have such a supportive administration and be able to work with so many of our athletes," Mazanetz said.
Twinsburg will always have strong student athletes to choose from and as a Division I program, offers Mazanetz some additional numbers to help with depth. She wants to take advantage of those numbers and opportunities.
"One major long-term goal for the program is to get girls to stick with basketball when they make the transition from junior high to high school," she explained.
"Having been around other programs, I certainly understand the tendency for kids to specialize in one sport when they get to high school, but we have some really good athletes in the district that could definitely contribute to our program."
Mazanetz also will focus on off the court aspects.
Solis did a great job of promoting girls basketball, getting athletes exposure to all college levels, as well as creating excitement for the youth programs. All of this takes time.
As for basketball style, Mazanetz obviously doesn't know her talent pool and skill set at this early stage.
"I haven't had much of a chance to learn personnel (strengths and weaknesses), but I hope to be able to play a fast-tempo offense and pressure on defense," noted the coach.
Defensive intensity will look to remain as a Tiger staple on the hardwoods.
"I definitely preferred that (up-tempo) style as a player and still do as a coach, but it will obviously depend on our strengths as individuals and as a team," said Mazanetz.
Solis will remain as a social studies teacher in the district and plans to continue as a R.B. Chamberlin Middle School track coach.
Mazanetz will get a start that she would have preferred earlier this summer, but she is ready to get to work.