Simmons led Sun Belt Conference in wins in 2016
Three Texas high school prepsters and a junior college arm make up the Mavs' four-member class.
UT Arlington will rely on seven returners and nine newcomers on its pitching staff this season.
The UT Arlington junior outfielder was named the third-ranked prospect from the MINK League.
Jon Wente owns a career record of 513-224 (.696) as a college head coach.
After establishing a reputation as one of the nation's top junior college head coaches, Jon Wente is in his fourth season as UTA's pitching coach.
Wente, known as an elite baseball mind, a tireless worker and an infectious personality in the coaching ranks, joined the staff of UTA Coach Darin Thomas in August of 2014, and has transitioned his decorated success as a junior college head coach into the Division I level.
A native of Scottsdale, Ariz., and a former pitcher at Arizona State and McNeese State, 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).
He 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. He also served as the head coach at Odessa College (2005) and Hutchinson College (2003-04), before a decorated career at Central Arizona.
A longtime close friend of Thomas, Wente has teamed with UTA recruiting coordinator Fuller Smith and assistant coach Joel Bocchi on the high-octane Mavericks coaching staff. Wente manages all aspects of UTA's pitching staff, while using his experience as a head coach to thoroughly impact the entire program.
A former pitching coach on the USA 18U Junior National Team, Wente has transferred his decorated junior college coaching credentials into a tangible impact on the UTA baseball program.
Wente's clubs sported a staggering 402-165 overall record as head coach at CAC, a .709 winning percentage. He led CAC to a pair of top three finishes at the JUCO World Series, including a 56-15 record in 2011. Overall, he has a 513-226 record as a head coach at the junior college level and has an 816-404 (.669) overall record as a collegiate coach, including his nine years as an assistant coach combined at CAC and UTA.
He has worked with some of the top names in baseball, including Matt Harvey, Ian Kinsler and Freddie Freeman, and is mentored by some of the top coaches in the sport, including legendary Arizona State head coach Pat Murphy and Clint Myers, the longtime baseball/softball coach at Central Arizona College, Arizona State and Auburn.
Wente's drastic impact on the success of the UTA program took hold in 2017, as the Mavs claimed the Sun Belt Conference Western Division Championship with a school-record 20-10 record in league play. UTA was paced throughout the year by a fiercely competitive weekend rotation, which featured two newcomers to earn All-Conference honors, Trae Patterson and Jakob Hernandez. His pitching staff finished the 2017 season ranked as the league leader in saves (18) and second in ERA (3.27), while allowing the fewest walks and homers of any team in the circuit. Overall, UTA set program records in 2017 in road wins, road conference wins, consecutive wins on the road in league play and wins over ranked opponents.
Patterson, Hernandez and senior Kadon Simmons each ranked among the league leaders in a bevy of categories under Wente's tutelage in 2017, with Patterson earning first-team All-Sun Belt accolades. In addition to a dynamic weekend rotation, Wente helped relievers Daniel James and Austin Gardner to prolific seasons, with James earning a league-best 13 saves and ranking second in UTA single-season history. Gardner's eye-popping numbers saw a 0.69 ERA in 17 Sun Belt games, and a 2-1 record and a 2.42 ERA overall, striking out 55 in 44.2 innings with just 10 walks. Despite missing the first four weeks of the season, James shined under Wente as the go-to relief stopper for UTA, including the Lubbock native tossing five-shutout, one-hit innings in a win over No. 4 Texas Tech at Globe Life Ballpark.
Wente completed his first season with the Mavericks in June 2015 and vetted a pitching staff primarily of young, freshmen arms. UTA’s rotation was ranked eighth in the Sun Belt with a 4.71 team ERA, but allowed the lowest amount of walks in the league. Wente assisted in the Mavericks’ three victories over ranked opponents and three shutouts during the 2015 slate, including a 12-0 win over UALR May 1.
Wente's mentorship proved valuable in 2016, as Simmons was selected to the All-Sun Belt second-team after leading the Sun Belt in pitching wins. Under Wente in 2016, senior right-hander Colin Tornberg was selected by the Seattle Mariners in the 32nd round of the 2015 MLB Draft in June. Tornberg led the Mavs with eight saves that season, third most by a Sun Belt player.
Wente was also the head coach at Odessa College (2005) and Hutchinson College (2003-04). His overall coaching record is 513-224 (.696). During his time as a junior college head coach, 190 of his players with four-year colleges and 63 players were drafted, including Major Leaguers Rich Harden, Scott Hairston, Ian Kinsler, Matt Pagnozzi, Josh Spence, Thad Weber, Mike Zagurski and AJ Schugel.
Wente coached the 2006 USA 18u Baseball Team which won a silver medal in the World Championships in Cuba. That team included Major Leaguers Matt Harvey, Blake Beavan, Jarod Parker, Neil Ramirez, Freddie Freeman, Matt Dominguez, Mike Moustakas, Christian Colon and Tommy Medica.
As the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator at Central Arizona College from 1998-2002, Wente coached under the legendary Meyers. Wente helped spur CAC to the 2002 NJCAA National Baseball Division I Championship, with conference championships in each season. His 2001 club saw Hairston and Kinsler drafted, with Hairston earning player of the year honors and David Acosta voted as pitcher of the year.
He started his head coaching career in 2003 with a two-year run at Hutchinson Community College, where he won 37 games in his debut season and 35 in 2004. He then moved to Odessa College, earning a 39-18 record in his lone season, before returning home to Central Arizona College as the head coach from 2006-14.
His debut season saw three CAC players selected in the 2006 MLB Draft, including eventual Kentucky first-team All-American slugger Sean Coughlin. One of Wente's hallmarks in a successful program involved a great attention to off-the-field development, with his first CAC team sporting a 3.30 team GPA. Following the season, Wente served as the pitching coach on the USA Junior National Team.
Wente led the 2007 CAC club to a regional championship, while being led by star lefty Josh Spence, who earned All-America honors and would go on to a historic career at Arizona State.
His 2008 CAC team set a NJCAA national record for fielding percentage, had one of the top 20 team GPAs in the NJCAA, won its region and district and finished third in the NJCAA World Series. Wente was named region and district coach of the year and Spencer starred as the conference male athlete of the year.
Wente's 2009 team posted a 51-13 record, won the region championship and finished second in the NJCAA West District, featuring All-Americans Jimmy Patterson and Marcus Bradley, with Patterson earning a NJCAA Rawlings Gold Glove. Eight former CAC standouts were selected in the 2009 MLB Draft.
CAC won 46 games under Wente in 2010, claiming the region championship and seeing 11 former players selected in the MLB Draft. Wente was tabbed region coach of the year, Eric Wooten earned Academic All-America honors as the club finished second in the west district.
Eight former CAC players were selected in the 2011 MLB Daft as CAC posted a historic 56-15 season and finished second in the NJCAA World Series. CAC won the district, region and conference championship, Keenyn Walker earned All-American honors and Wente was named conference and region coach of the year.
In 2012, CAC claimed the region and conference championship under Wente, with five former players drafted and Wente earning region coach of the year accolades during a 47-15 season. His 2013 season saw CAC go 43-15, with six former players selected in the MLB Draft and eight players earn all-region accolades.
Wente's final season as a head coach at CAC in 2014 saw the club go 42-16, win a conference championship, sport two academic All-Americans and two NJCAA All-America selections. Seven former CAC standouts were selected in the 2014 MLB Draft and a pair of CAC pitchers followed Wente to UTA, Cody Farell and Jess Amedee.
Wente started his playing career at Brophy College Prep High School under Tom Succow and played at Central Arizona College for Corky Summers and Tim Fields. He earned all-conference honors as a sophomore at Central. From Central he went on to play at Arizona State University as a pitcher for the legendary Murphy, who ascended to manager of the San Diego Padres in 2016.
Wente finished his playing career at McNeese State University where he set a school record for innings pitched in a season and was named the team MVP. After finishing his collegiate career, he played professional baseball for the Moose Jaw Diamond Dogs of the independent league.
He graduated from Arizona State University in 1998, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing. Wente also owns a master's in secondary education with an emphasis in sports administration from East Central University in 2010.
Wente is a native of Phoenix and is married to Sandra Langston. Sandra is a former standout softball player at Glendale Community College and New Mexico State. They married in 1999 and are the proud parents of Tyler Jon, a junior pitcher at Mansfield High School. Sandra is regarded as an elite coaching mind of her own, as she was the head softball coach at Hutchinson Community College from 2003-04 and Central Arizona from 2006-15. Sandra was an assistant coach at CAC from 1997-2002, Odessa from 2004-05 and CAC from 2005-06.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ABOUT WENTE …
"I have known Jon Wente since 2001, when he was on the coaching staff at Central Arizona, the junior college I attended. He was my head coach/roommate/baseball dad in the Jayhawk League in Liberal, Kansas. He was in my wedding and is still a close friend. I appreciate Jon's views on baseball and life, and he has helped me many times and in many ways throughout the time I have know him."
- Four-time MLB All-Star Ian Kinsler
"Coach Wente played a huge roll in my journey on becoming a Major League pitcher. I was fortunate enough to play for Coach Wente at Central Arizona Junior College. What separated myself from other players is that I did not grow up in America, I had lived in Australia my whole life. Playing baseball at an elite level is something I only dreamed about. Coach Wente provided a valuable stepping stone for my career in giving myself an incredible opportunity and initiating both nurturing and valuable teaching moments along the way.
"One thing that sticks in my mind is at practice leading up to my first home game, I was looking across the outfield as I was talking with Jon and jokingly said, 'I see an American flag, I see an Arizona flag ... but where is the Australian flag?'. Jon replied with, 'you're right! We need one up there', so every time I would pitch at home Coach Wente would let me fly an Australian Flag in the outfield along side the other two. As I get older that story becomes more and more meaningful to me - Coach Wente allowed me to be who I was, whilst giving me the template to not only be a successful baseball player, but person."
- Former San Diego Padres Pitcher Josh Spence
THE WENTE FILE
Central Arizona College (1998-2002) * 2002 NJCAA National Champions *
- Assistant Coach
Hutchinson Community College (2003-04)
- Head Coach, 72-43 overall
Odessa College (2005)
- Head Coach, 39-15 overall
Central Arizona College (2006-14)
- Head Coach, 402-165 overall
UT Arlington (2015-17)
- Pitching Coach
High School: Brophy College Prep
College: Central Arizona, Arizona State, McNeese State
Professional: Moose Jaw Diamond Dogs (independent)
B.S. Marketing, Arizona State (1998)
M.S. Secondary Education/Sports Administration, Est Central University (2010)
Wife: Sandra Wente
Son: Tyler Jay Wente
Hometown: Scottsdale, Ariz.
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