Antwon Jackson and Mike Rehfeldt Join UC Men's Basketball Staff

June 29, 2012

CINCINNATI- University of Cincinnati head coach Mick Cronin announced Friday the additions of Antwon Jackson as assistant coach and Mike Rehfeldt (pronounced RAY-feldt) as strength and conditioning coach for the men’s basketball program. Rehfeldt, hired as a member of UC’s strength and conditioning staff, will also serve in a similar role with the women’s lacrosse program.

Jackson’s 12 years of experience features time as an assistant coach at the high school, AAU and collegiate levels, including, most recently, a four-year stint as assistant coach at the University of Massachusetts. Rehfeldt comes to UC with more than 11 years of professional experience including time as strength and conditioning assistant with the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals and Jacksonville Jaguars and as the head strength coach with the UFL’s Sacramento Mountain Lions. 

“Antwon is exactly what I look for in an assistant coach. He works extremely hard,” Cronin said.  “I’ve seen what he has been a part of at UMass and also William and Mary, rebuilding programs with a hard-working mentality, and I know he understands what it takes to be successful in college basketball. That shares our belief that having the right attitude is imperative to success. He will help us on the floor, in the locker room and also in the key area of recruiting. Antwon has built great relationships and I am confident he will be able to help us as a recruiter.

“Mike is also a great addition to our staff. He comes highly recommended from Marvin Lewis who I admire as a leader and a coach. Mike has worked in the professional ranks and knows the commitment it takes to perform at that level. He will be able to relay that to our players. Bearcats basketball has a long tradition of developing the bodies of our players, increasing their athleticism, and creating a standard of mental and physical toughness. Mike knows how important his role will be in our program and he cannot wait to get started.”

Antwon Jackson

Jackson has built a reputation as a talented recruiter at the college level during stints at both UMass and William and Mary over the past seven seasons. During the last four seasons in Amherst, Jackson has helped recruit and coach players who have contributed to the Minutemen’s rise in the Atlantic-10 Conference standings. UMass improved upon its 12-18 overall mark and 10th-place league finish in 2008-09, building toward a 25-12 mark and fifth-place league finish during the 2011-12 campaign. Last season, UMass advanced to the semifinal round of the Postseason NIT. The Minutemen’s 25 wins on the season tied with the 2008 squad for most wins by the program since its NCAA Tournament Final Four run in 1996.

Prior to his stay at UMass, Jackson helped retool William and Mary under Tribe head coach Tony Shaver. During Jackson’s three seasons in Williamsburg, Va., William and Mary improved its overall record from 8-20 and 10th place in the Colonial Athletic Association in 2006 to a 17-16 mark and fifth-place finish in 2008. The Tribe marched through the 2008 CAA tournament but fell one game shy of an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament. William and Mary recorded a 10-8 league record in 2008, marking only the second double-digit win total in its 23-year history in the CAA. 

“The people here at the University of Cincinnati have been fantastic,” Jackson said. “I have visited here before and always thought that I could see myself working here one day. UC has a great basketball tradition and plays in an outstanding league in the BIG EAST Conference.

“I’m looking forward to working alongside Coach Cronin and the basketball staff. I like the way that he is real with the players. He’s very versatile in that when he needs to pump you up, he’ll pump you up, but when he needs to drop the hammer, he’ll do that too.”

Before climbing into the collegiate coaching ranks Jackson gained experience as an assistant coach with two high schools and numerous AAU squads in Virginia and Maryland.  He served as an assistant coach at Paul VI High School in Fairfax, Va., during the 2004-05 season, helping lead the team to an 18-8 record and an appearance in the Virginia Independent Schools championship game. Paul VI High School is a member of the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference, considered one of the top high school basketball leagues in the country. From 2001-04, Jackson was an assistant coach at Bishop McNamara in Forestville, Md.

On the AAU circuit Jackson performed as an assistant coach for the successful DC Assault and Maryland Select squads for two summers (2004-05). Typically one of the top AAU teams in the nation, DC Assault has produced many NCAA Division I and NBA players and coaches. Jackson was an assistant coach with DC Blue Devils AAU in 2003.

Jackson also has worked at some of the top summer basketball camps in the country, including the adidas Superstar Camp and several years at the Five Star Basketball Camp.

Along with his coaching positions, Jackson spent 11 years at KPMG, LLP in Washington, D.C., and McLean, Va., most recently holding the position of senior associate in the company’s real estate and mortgage division.

Jackson earned a degree in business management and accounting from Pikeville College in Pikeville, Ky., in 1993. He was a Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference honorable mention selection his junior and senior seasons while leading his team in assists.

Jackson and his wife Stephanie have two children, Melanie (16) and Elijah (9).

Mike Rehfeldt

Rehfeldt has been assisting the Cincinnati Bengals’ strength and conditioning program since August 2011, creating pre- and post-workout nutrition protocols, introducing training techniques to reduce recovery time and planning and instructing training of developmental players.

Prior to assisting with the Bengals, Rehfeldt served as head strength and conditioning coach with the Sacramento Mountain Lions of the UFL from 2009-2011. Among his duties in Sacramento, he created and installed an off-season and in-season strength and conditioning program and designed and equipped the team’s weight room.

Rehfeldt worked as a strength and conditioning assistant with the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2006-09, implementing training and rehabilitation instruction for injured players and instructing group training sessions. While with the Jaguars he also served as the director of athletic development at the S3 Athletic Development Center at Yates in Jacksonville. 

“I’m excited to join the basketball program and get the opportunity to build on its great tradition of physical dominance on the court,” Rehfeldt said. “Many people can play at a high level some of the time, but it’s those people that can do it on a consistent basis who are the ones that can reach their potential. There are many components that go into developing the commitment needed to perform at the next level. It’s more than just working in the weight room. You need to take care of your body, understand recovery, get enough sleep, become socially responsible and do all of it with consistency.”

A native of Blaine, Minn., Rehfeldt earned a degree in physical education from St. Cloud State University in 2005. He resides in Northern Kentucky.