Jim Solano envisioned a career as a certified public accountant, after graduating Temple University’s Fox School of Business. Solano ultimately became a CPA and launched his accounting firm, before pursuing a career in a completely different line of work.
The Philadelphia-area native has represented more than 800 athletes and coaches from the National Football League (NFL) during a lengthy career as a professional sports agent. At least one player or coach from 19 Super Bowls has counted Solano as his agent, and Solano said he has represented too many all-league players to count.
His path toward that line of work was coincidental.
“There were a few football players that at the time had lived in my building, the Society Hill Towers,” Solano said. “I got to know them and they were really impressed with the fact that I was a CPA, a college professor, and owned my own accounting firm. I helped them with some advice on taxes at first, and then they told their friends. And those friends told other friends, and before you know it I’m representing them.”
Solano earned his Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, and MBA degrees – all in Accounting – from the Fox School. He joined the School’s faculty in 1969, after attaining his MBA and becoming a CPA. It was then that Solano realized the multitude of career paths available to him. Today, he’s on faculty at nearby Philadelphia University.
“What I learned in accounting and business gave me a great foundation to start a business on my own,” Solano said.
Solano has represented legendary Philadelphia Eagles players like Harold Carmichael, Mike Quick, and Seth Joyner, and Eagles head coaches Buddy Ryan and Ray Rhodes. He was the agent for 18 of the 40 players who saw the field in Super Bowl XV, in which the Eagles lost to the Los Angeles Raiders.
These days, Solano has branched into golf. He represents a half-dozen clients, and still maintains his representation of a few NFL coaches.
“I could fill 10 pages of memories with what I’ve done,” said Solano, who remains in contact with many of his clients. He even was asked to be the godfather to a number of his clients’ children.
Although his work keeps him busy seven days a week and 12 months a year, Solano said he is not willing to give up any one of his professions. He best describes his professional time management as “a Venn diagram.”
“The time I’m busy with teaching, I’m not busy as a CPA or as an agent, and visa versa,” he said. “I love teaching. I love the impact that I have on my students’ lives. I truly believe that if you love what you do, it doesn’t feel like work.”
Solano said his professional success cannot top his life’s greatest work: being a family man. He and his wife, Teri, have one daughter, Lesley, and three grandchildren, Jack, Kate, and Andrew.
“They are my entire world,” Solano said.