Three Cincinnati soccer assistants are dubbed ‘Rising Stars’ by On3

Zach StipeZach Stipe

Associate AD/Communications

CINCINNATI – University of Cincinnati Assistant Football Coach Mike Brown, Colin Hitschler and darren paige were named “up and coming assistants you need to know” by On3 earlier this month.

The trio is on the national collegiate sports website’s 65-person list. The complete list can be viewed HERE.

Cincinnati and Ole Miss were the only two three-assistant programs on the list.

Brown joined the Bearcats in 2019 as wide receivers coach and has assumed passing game coordinator responsibilities this offseason. Brown’s influence was an important part of UC’s record-breaking offense in 2021. UC set school records for points (516) and touchdowns (70) while he was a senior wide receiver Alec Pierc received second-team All-Conference honors before being drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Brown was a two-time Liberty All-America selection as wide receiver and quarterback and played in the NFL for three years before beginning a coaching career.

Hitschler will enter his first season as co-defensive coordinator at Cincinnati in 2022 and his fifth season overall with the program. He started at UC in 2018 and became a safety coach in 2020. As UC’s safety coach, he has overseen the development of three NFL draft picks at that position over the past two years, including Bryan Koch, who was a second-round pick by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2022. Hitschler helped lead one of the best pass defenses in the nation during his time at Clifton. In 2021, the Bearcats ranked #1 in the nation in pass efficiency defense (103.37) and #2 in passing yards allowed (169.2). UC also ranked 5th in the nation in scoring defense (16.5) and 10th in overall defense (318.4).

Paige is entering his second season coaching the Cincinnati running backs after helping out Jerome Ford to one of the greatest rushing seasons in school history in 2021. Ford rushed for 1,319 yards and a school record with 19 touchdowns last fall. Ford collected MVP honors for the AAC championship game after rushing for 187 yards and two points against Houston. He was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the fifth round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Paige’s rushing offense averaged 5.2 yards per carry, which ranked second in America and 18th in the nation.


Led by consensus acting national coach of the year Luke Fickell and 12 returning starters, the Bearcats are the two-time defending AAC champions and are coming off a 13-1 season that culminated in a trip to the 2021 College Football Playoffs. At a 44-7 mark since early 2018, Cincinnati ranks in the nation’s top 5 win percentages for the past four years with an 86% win percentage.

Cincinnati opens the 2022 season on September 3 at 3:30 p.m. ET against Arkansas in Fayetteville, Ark. before coming home to Nippert Stadium on September 10 at 3:30 p.m. to greet Kennesaw State.

While season tickets are selling out for the first time in school history, fans can still purchase single-game tickets for as little as $25 HERE. Fans can also participate waiting list for season tickets 2023.


Cincinnati will officially join the Big 12 on July 1, 2023. The Bearcats are entering a new era as a Power Five school, and as they join the Big 12, every competitive edge counts for UC’s 450+ student-athletes.

As an integral part of the university Next, now campaign, UC Athletics’ Day-One-Ready Campaign is a $100 million fundraising initiative focused on taking next-level success at the new conference. With fan support for signature facilities, student and athlete wellness, and championship readiness, the Bearcats will not only be primed to compete in the Big 12 on their first official day.

They will be ready to bring championships home to Cincinnati.

Donate to the Day One Ready campaign here.

For the latest information on Cincinnati Athletics, please visit For up-to-the-minute updates, follow Cincinnati Athletics TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

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