Darin Thomas has taken the UT Arlington baseball program to new heights since taking over as head coach in 2008 after serving seven years as an assistant. The program has continued to grow under Thomas' watch, culminating back-to-back conference championships from 2012-13.
The Mavericks are 179-169 during Thomas' tenure, including 67-52 over the 2012 and 2013 seasons. UT Arlington earned a trip to the 2012 NCAA Regionals as the Southland Conference Tournament champions. The Mavericks followed that up by sharing the 2013 Western Athletic Conference regular-season championship in the school's only year in the league.
UT Arlington has traditionally played a daunting schedule littered with regional powers such as Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, in addition to ranked teams from around the country. The Mavericks own wins over 12 ranked teams under Thomas.
Fuller Smith joined the UT Arlington coaching staff as an assistant coach for the 2014 season. Smith returned to UT Arlington after spending the previous three seasons at Ole Miss.
"I am excited to have Fuller back as a full-time assistant," UT Arlington coach Darin Thomas said. "He has played and coached for one of the top coaches in America in Mike Bianco at Ole Miss. I know about Fuller's work ethic and loyalty, and can't wait for him to help elevate our program in the future."
Smith spent the 2013 season as a volunteer assistant coach at Ole Miss after two seasons as the director of baseball operations. Smith joined Ole Miss prior to the 2011 season after being a volunteer assistant at UT Arlington for the 2010 season.
Jon Wente joined the UT Arlington Baseball program as the pitching coach in August 2014. Wente spent 13 seasons as a head coach before coming to UT Arlington.
"We're extremely fortunate to get someone of Jon's background to recruit and work with our pitchers," UT Arlington coach Darin Thomas said. "He has shown the ability to recruit and develop players at a very high level everywhere he's been."
Wente was the head coach at Central Arizona College from 2005-14. His teams won six consecutive Region I championships (2007-12) and four consecutive conference championships (2011-14). Wente was the Region I Coach of the Year six times (2007-12), the conference Coach of the Year in 2011, and the West District Coach of the Year in 2008 and 2011.
Troy Conkle is in his second stint with UT Arlington, this time as the team's volunteer assistant coach. Previously, Conkle coached under Mavericks legend Clay Gould for eight seasons off and on from 1995-2003.
Conkle was a member of the Mavericks staff that coached the team to the Southland Conference championship in 2001. That team also won the only NCAA Regional Tournament game in program history when the Mavs topped Houston in the Rice Regional.
Even before coaching UT Arlington, the Southland Conference was hardly new terrain for Conkle, a First-Team All-SLC performer in 1992 and '93 as Northwestern State's shortstop. Conkle's teammates thought enough of him to make him a two-year captain. He also anchored a Northwestern State defense that led the league in defense in 1992.
Director of Baseball Operations
Kasey Merck joined the UT Arlington staff in 2014 as the director of baseball operations. Merck played for UT Arlington under coach Darin Thomas.
In this role as director of operations, he is responsible for administrative duties, scouting reports and charts, organizing travel accommodations and logistics, organizing baseball camps, and helping with alumni events and baseball fundraisers.
Merck completed his playing career in 2014, though he didn't play in either the 2013 and 2014 seasons while recovering from injury. He compiled a 3-4 record over 30 appearances from 2011-12. Merck was a two-year varsity letterwinner at Keller High School.