Dooley adds Jackson to staff, promotes Rockaforte for Pirate basketball

Sports

GREENVILLE, N.C. — East Carolina Head Coach Joe Dooley announced the addition of Antwon Jackson to the Pirate coaching staff as an assistant coach, as well as the promotion of current assistant coach Steve Roccaforte to Associate Head Coach on Monday. 

“I’m very pleased to announce the addition of Antwon Jackson to our coaching staff,” Dooley said. “He has an outstanding track record and brings a wealth of knowledge, a relentless work ethic along with numerous other qualities that will be beneficial to our program. 

“I’m also privileged to announce that Steve Roccaforte has been promoted to the position of associate head coach,” Dooley continued. “He has done a terrific job of cultivating relationships with all of our players currently in our program as well as our recruits. He has had a positive impact on our program and been an asset to us since day one.” 

Jackson spent the 2019-20 season as an assistant coach at Virginia Tech and helped the Hokies assemble a top-40 ranked recruiting class. With Jackson’s help, Lander Nolley earned All-ACC Freshman Team honors as well as USBWA All-District III accolades during his lone season in Blacksburg.  

Virginia Tech ranked among the national leaders in 3-point field goals made (12th), 3-pointers per game (13th), assist-to-turnover ratio (5th) and fewest turnovers per game (4th) last season. 

Prior to joining the coaching staff at Virginia Tech, Jackson served seven years as an assistant coach to Mick Cronin at the University of Cincinnati. The Bearcats won back-to-back American Athletic Conference Tournament titles in 2018 and 2019 with Jackson on staff. He also helped develop Gary Clark (2017-18) and Jarron Cumberland (2018-19) into The American Player-of-the-Year award winners. 

In addition, Jackson helped tutor three All-Americans, 11 all-conference selections, two American Defensive Player-of-the-Year recipients, two all-rookie team selections and one American Sixth Man-of-the-Year award winners during tenure at UC. Four of those players also went on to play in the NBA. 

A talented recruiter and gifted coach, Jackson was invited to the NCAA’s prestigious Achieving Coaching Excellence (ACE) program during the summer 2016, where he was put through an intensive development program for preparation of career advancement. 

During the seven seasons before his stint at Cincinnati, Jackson built a reputation for finding high-level prospects during stints at both UMass and William and Mary.  

A member of the UMass coaching staff from 2009-12, he helped resurrect the program and was part of it resurgence that saw the Minutemen win 25 games during the 2011-12 season, their most since reaching the 1996 Final Four, en route to advancing to the semifinal round of the 2012 Postseason NIT. Three players earned All-Atlantic 10 honors with this guidance. 

Prior to his stay at UMass, Jackson helped retool William and Mary under Tribe head coach Tony Shaver. During Jackson’s three seasons (2005-08) in Williamsburg, Virginia, William and Mary improved its overall record by nine wins from his first season to final year. The Tribe also produced two all-conference and two all-rookie team selections during his three seasons. 

Before climbing into the collegiate coaching ranks Jackson gained experience as an assistant coach with two high schools and several 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, and was an assistant coach at Bishop McNamara in Forestville, Md., from 2001-04. 

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. 

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 and Elijah. 

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