STEPHENVILLE – A longtime Texan trading the T’s on his baseball hat as the head coach of the Tarleton Baseball program Bryan Conger has resigned to pursue a career in the professional ranks with the Texas Rangers Baseball Organization.
“My family and I would really like to thank everyone in the Tarleton community,” said Conger. “We know that we wouldn’t have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity if Coach (Jack) Allen hadn’t given me a chance all those years ago. He helped me grow, not only as a baseball player but, as a human being. The willingness of the entire Tarleton community to embrace my family and be there for us through the things we’ve gone through is immeasurable to us.
“This decision is a life-altering opportunity for my family and is something that we look forward to facing the challenge of and we can’t wait to get started on this next chapter of our lives,” he added.
Over the last several seasons, Conger found success by utilizing technology within the Texan Baseball program. His data collection using Motus technology on pitchers, as well as the tracking of offensive launch angles and exit velocities, proved to be groundbreaking within the baseball profession and helped Tarleton reach the NCAA postseason for the fourth time in program history and win its second LSC Tournament title. He was a keynote speaker on the topic at the 75th Annual ABCA Coaches Convention in Dallas last week.
Conger spent 10 seasons as the head coach of Tarleton Baseball and enjoyed three championship seasons in the last six years, beginning with the program’s first Lone Star Conference Championship season in 2013. The program has since followed with two LSC Tournament Championships, including last season. Conger has also been a part of all four of Tarleton’s NCAA regional tournament appearances, leading three as the head coach and one as a graduate assistant pitching coach in 1998.
He will end his coaching career with 288 career wins, which is second only to Hall of Fame Coach Jack Allen for the most in program history.
“We’re grateful to Bryan and his family for all they have done to bring success back to our baseball program,” said athletic director Lonn Reisman. “We are certainly going to miss him but we’re excited for him to take on this next phase of his career. We wish him nothing but the best.”
Since taking over in 2009 as the head coach, Tarleton has produced 10 All-LSC First Team pitchers, 12 All-LSC Second Team pitchers, two honorable mention All-LSC pitchers, and the 2018 LSC Pitcher of the Year Nathan Hickey. Hickey was also named a National College Baseball Writers Association Honorable Mention All-American last year and an ABCA National Gold Glove Pitcher.
Under his tutelage, Tarleton has seen some of the best pitchers in program history don the purple and white. Conger has had several pitchers advance to the professional ranks over his tenure, including MLB draft pick Ryan Turner who went to Tampa Bay in the 32nd round of the 2011 draft.
Prior to his time at Tarleton, Conger was the pitching coach for NCAA Division I University of Utah where he molded Stephen Fife into an MLB pitcher. Fife was a third round MLB draft pick by the Boston Red Sox in 2008 and went on to pitch in the big leagues for the Los Angeles Dodgers from 2012-14.
Before heading to Salt Lake City, he spent time at Cloud Community College and Lamar Community College. During his stint at Lamar, Conger mentored Brandon McCarthy who was drafted out of LCC in the 17th round by the Chicago White Sox. McCarthy has gone on to enjoy a 13-year major league career, over which he has played for seven teams and racked up nearly 70 pitching victories. He was also a part of the 2017 National League Champion Los Angeles Dodgers.
A new head coach will be named prior to the start of the 2019 season, which is set to begin on February 1 at Minute Maid Park in Houston. The remaining staff currently consists of assistant coach Brennan Rogers and graduate assistant Ruben Rodriguez.