Men's Basketball Coaches
OJC Men's Basketball Head Coach
Coach Brendan O'Connor
Brendan O’Connor has been named the next head coach for the Otero Junior College Men’s Basketball program. O’Connor has served as assistant coach for the Rattlers under Houston Reed for the past nine years. He has been responsible for player development, strength/conditioning, monitoring student-athlete academic progress, planning travel arrangements, overseeing budget costs, recruiting, film exchange, and scouting.
In his assistant coaching role, O’Connor helped the program attain a record of 117-46 over the past five seasons. This past season the team went 27-6 and won the Region IX South Conference Championship. In 2012, the Rattlers won the Region IX Championship for the first time in school history and advanced to the NJCAA Tournament Elite 8 while finishing with a record of 30-6.
During O’Connor’s time at Otero 70 players have moved on to play at four-year institutions; 19 players were named Academic All-Region; and eleven players were named to the All-Region IX team. In the last five years, 16 players have been offered Division I Scholarships.
O’Connor expressed excitement and gratitude for being allowed to carry on the Otero tradition of strong athletic and academic performance.
“I’m incredibly excited to be named Head Men’s Basketball Coach at Otero Junior College. I’ve been very fortunate that my path to this point has involved playing for Bob Cavera at Lewis-Palmer High School and working for Coach Meyer at Northern State University. First and foremost, I want to thank Houston Reed for giving me my first job nine years ago. He has been the best mentor and friend you could ask for in our profession. There aren’t enough words to adequately describe the amount of love and respect I have for him,” said O’Connor.
“Additionally, I want to thank President Jim Rizzuto, Athletic Director Gary Addington, and our entire administration for allowing me the opportunity to build on the great academic and athletic tradition that exists at Otero. Lastly, my love and thanks goes out to my family, friends, and former players whose support has never wavered,” O’Connor added. “The mission of our program continues. We will strive every day to preserve the culture of hard work, unselfishness, and toughness that people have come to expect from Otero Men’s Basketball! Go Rattlers!”
“Brendan has tremendous rapport with all of our students, not just the basketball players, and like all of our coaches on campus he is a valued asset to the institution. Brendan will continue the success of the basketball program and has the background and firsthand knowledge of what OJC Athletics is all about. He understands the philosophy that academic excellence must come first before athletic excellence in order for our kids to be successful at the next level. This will be another exciting chapter into Otero Junior College Basketball,” said Addington.
Before arriving at Otero, the Monument, Colorado native competed in football and basketball while at Lewis-Palmer High school. As starting point guard, O’Connor led Lewis-Palmer to a 49-2 record during his junior and senior seasons.
O’Connor earned his degree at Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota while working as a student-assistant for legendary Head Coach Don Meyer.
OJC Men's Basketball Assistant Coach
Coach Rion Rayfield
Rion Rayfield, a native of Burlington, Wis., played for Linc Darner at Florida Southern. He finished his career with the Mocs with 1,870 career points and as the program’s all-time leader in games played and three-pointers made. During his senior campaign, Rayfield earned Division II Bulletin Honorable Mention All-American honors along with a spot in the NABC All-Star Game after scoring 502 points, dishing 152 assists and shooting nearly 44 percent from long range, which ranked in the top 10 nationally.
Most recently, Rayfield served as an assistant coach at Black Hills State University. Prior to Black Hills State, Rayfield spent two years with the Solrød Comets of the Danish Basketligaen.
In his first season on the Green Bay bench, Rayfield helped lead the Phoenix to its first NCAA Tournament bid in 20 years and lifted the trophy as the 2016 Horizon League Tournament Champions following the team’s win over Wright State in Detroit for MotorCityMadness.