STEPHENVILLE – Tarleton athletics director Lonn Reisman has announced the hiring of Bryan Conger as the head coach of the Tarleton baseball program.
“Bryan brings in a solid vision of where he wants the Tarleton baseball program to be in the future,” Reisman said. “He brings in five years of NCAA Division I experience from Utah and that has helped him develop some great contacts across the country. I was impressed with his enthusiasm, his energy and his knowledge of the game of baseball. I think our players will be very impressed with Coach Conger and I have every confidence he will take our baseball program to where it needs to be in order to compete for both Lone Star Conference championships and NCAA playoff berths.”
A former three-year letterwinner as a Texan baseball player, Conger returns to Tarleton following stints at Lamar Community College, Cloud County Community College and the University of Utah.
“This is a great move for myself and my family,” Conger said. “We are all excited to move back home. It is a great opportunity professionally and a great challenge to turn the program back to where it can and should be. I’m looking forward to the opportunity and I cannot wait to get started.”
In his five seasons as the pitching coach with Utah, the Utes pitching staff set or tied more than 10 team or individual records. Those records include most strikeouts in a season, single-season strikeouts and career saves.
Under Conger, the Utes’ pitching staff finished this season third in the Mountain West Conference with a combined 5.23 earned run average and held opponents to just a .294 batting average against them. It was Utah’s lowest ERA in 33 years. At the end of the season, Stephen Fife, a pitcher for the Utes under Conger’s tutelage was drafted in the third round (85th pick overall) by the Boston Red Sox in this year’s Major League Baseball amateur draft.
Before being named an assistant coach at Utah, the Stephenville native served as the head coach at Cloud County Community College in Concordia, Kan. during the 2003 season. His team finished in second place following the Jayhawk Conference Tournament and captured the school’s first-ever postseason victories.
Prior to his stint in Concordia, Kan., he served as the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator at Lamar Community College in Lamar, Colo. During his stay at Lamar, the Runnin’ Lopes won back-to-back conference titles while making the school’s first-ever Junior College World Series appearance. The LCC pitching staff enjoyed great success, setting multiple school records for ERA, strikeouts, saves, shutouts and appearances. Four of his pitchers were drafted, five signed with Division I teams and six were named all-region.
While earning his master’s degree in education with an emphasis in exercise and sports studies from Tarleton, Conger served as the pitching coach for the Texans from 1998-99 under then head coach Jack Allen. During his first coaching season, the Texans advanced to the NCAA Division II South Central Regional for the first time in the school’s history. Tarleton then followed its first-ever NCAA postseason appearance by winning the Lone Star Conference South Division title in the 1999 season.
Under Conger, the Texans grabbed five all-conference picks, three all-region honorees, the conference Freshman of the Year award and the conference Pitcher of the Year award. The pitching staff set multiple school records as well as the conference’s record for strikeouts in a game.
During his collegiate career, Conger was named the Texans’ Comeback Player of the Year in 1994 and was named the Most Valuable Pitcher in 1995. He then spent two years as a professional player with Pine Bluff in the Texas-Louisiana League.
Conger earned a bachelor’s degree in speech communication in 1995 and his master’s degree in 1999.
Conger and his wife, Melanie, have two children, Maddux ( ) and Kaleigh (). The couple will reside in Stephenville.