Sept. 18, 2013
MADISON, Wis. -- Kareem Jackson has been named the new men's and women's sprints, hurdles and horizontal jumps coach at the University of Wisconsin, Director of Cross Country and Track & Field Mick Byrne announced Wednesday.
"I am definitely excited to start my journey here at Wisconsin," Jackson said. "I am looking forward to the challenge. The energy was fantastic at the reception we had on Sunday, and knowing that the student-athletes that I will be coaching are so receptive is very welcoming."
Prior to his appointment at Wisconsin, Jackson served as the head coach at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville for four seasons, succeeding current UW throws coach Dave Astrauskas. During his time at SIUE, Jackson led the Cougars in their transition from NCAA Division II to Division I.
"We're excited to bring Kareem on board," Byrne said. "He was a successful head coach at SIU-Edwardsville, and has a proven record of success on the track and in the classroom. Our coaches are thrilled to have him join our staff, and as a former head coach he will bring a wealth of experience to the table."
"I really feel fortunate to be able to coach with this staff and the wealth of knowledge they have," Jackson said. "I am excited about this opportunity to work with Coach Byrne, who has displayed confidence in me during the process. I am thankful for this opportunity, and am looking forward to working with this coaching staff and with all of our student athletes."
In SIUE's first year of Division I eligibility in 2013, seven athletes advanced to the NCAA West Preliminary Round, and La'Derrick Ward became the first athlete in program history to advance to the NCAA championships. He earned honorable-mention All-America accolades in the long jump. Ward and Jessica Oranika both competed at the 2013 USA Junior Championships.
More than 30 records were broken by student-athletes during his tenure at SIUE, and SIUE athletes have entered the top-three in the all-time list in nearly every event. In addition, 17 athletes earned marks that would have earned them spots in the NCAA preliminary round had SIUE been eligible during its transition to Division I.
In 2012, Darius Smith competed in the USA junior championships in the 200 meters, while Jatavia Wright qualified for the U.S. junior championships in the 100 hurdles. Thrower Ben Bishop qualified for the 2010 USA Indoor Championships, and William Lindsey qualified for the 2010 USA Junior Championships in both hurdle events.
The Cougars also were successful in the classroom during Jackson's tenure as the women's track squad earned All-Academic honors by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
Prior to his time at SIUE, Jackson was an assistant at Lafayette, working with the sprinters, hurdlers and jumpers. He served in a similar role at the University of Chicago.
A member of the USTFCCCA, Jackson holds a Level I coaching certification as well as a Level II coaching certification in sprints, hurdles and jumps.
Jackson received a bachelor's degree in general studies and mathematics from Lewis University in 2002. The Flyers were ranked in the top 15 in the country in each of his four years. He won a Great Lakes Valley Conference championship in the high jump in 1998 and earned all-conference honors in both the 110 hurdles and the high jump.
"The kids are excited about having someone with Kareem's resume on board," Byrne said. "He was well received by the team, and we know he will help the track and field program continue to grow in the years to come."
"I am looking forward to working with these student-athletes," Jackson said. "That is what it is all about. I am looking forward to getting out on the track and starting this whole process. It has been a whirlwind, as you expect anytime you start moving, but I'm really excited. SIUE was a great opportunity for me, they provided me with a lot of resources to be successful and I'm thankful for the chance I was given there.
"I think this is just the next step in my career, being here at the University of Wisconsin."
A native of Harvey, Ill., Jackson has a daughter, Jasmine.