Derek Mackel begins his fifth season as an assistant track & field coach at North Texas after a three-year stint in a similar capacity at the University of New Mexico. Mackel works primarily with the pole vaulters and jumpers.
In the 2013 season, Mackel took the Mean Green to the next level. Junior Shahaf Bareni advanced to the NCAA Championship meet, finishing seventh in the country while also setting a school record.
The 2012 campaign saw a lot of improvement from the women's pole vaulters as sophomore Sarah Vann took home all-conference honors in both the Sun Belt Indoor and Outdoor Championships.
Mackel also coached sophomore Shahaf Bareni to a Sun Belt Outdoor Championship and a North Texas school record in the high jump as well as a new heptathlon record from junior Chelsea Hermes. Bareni would go on to compete in the NCAA West Preliminary Rounds in Austin, Texas.
His first season at North Texas saw two vaulters and a jumper qualify for the NCAA West Preliminary Rounds. Freshman Terrance Williams won second place and a spot on the US Junior Team at the USA Junior Track and Field Championships. Williams would then win another silver at the Junior Pan American games. Christal Brewster and Jordan Wehr were the two pole vaulters to advance to the NCAA West Prelims. Brewster would finish 22nd and Wehr would take 28th.
At New Mexico in 2010, Mackel coached pole vaulter Kyle Walker to All-Mountatin West Conference honors and a spot in the NCAA West Preliminary Round in the pole vault (17'4"). Mackel, also worked with Sandy Fortner, the Mountain West Conference Heptathlon Champion (5723), a qualifier to the NCAA Outdoor Championhips in the Heptathlon. Fortner was named the Mountain West Female Athlete of the Year in 2010. Mackel also coached three women's vaulters in 2010: Kelly Fortner (12'9"), Lauren Jaramillio (12'1") and Amber Menke (12'1"), as well as numerous others.
In 2008, Mackel mentored pole vaulter Robert Caldwell into the 18' club (18'1), and to a 6th place finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Mackel also coached the throwing events at New Mexico and mentored several walk-ons to personal bests in 1 year, including Briana Paxton (158'10 Discus, 45'0" Shot) and Sarah Smartwood (160'10" Hammer).
Mackel, the 2006 NCAA Midwest Regional pole vault champion, also set the Midwest Regional record in that event (18' 1") and was one of the great success stories in UNM track & field history. He began as an unrecruited walk-on in 2002, with a best vault of under 12' in high school. He improved by more than six feet during his collegiate career to become one of the nation's premier vaulters.
He is a 2006 graduate of the University of New Mexico, receiving his bachelor's degree in university studies and received an master's degree in exercise science from the University of New Mexico in 2010.