"I know the University of Nebraska sets the bar with its great tradition, fan support and facilities" said Silva, who was an assistant coach for UC Irvine at the 2008 Lincoln Regional. "Now having the opportunity to come back and work with Coach Erstad is extremely humbling and exciting. I have been fortunate to be a part of some great teams the past few years, and I cannot wait to help this prestigious university. It is an exciting time for the Nebraska baseball program."
In Silva's first season as pitching coach, UC Irvine won the 2008 Lincoln Regional, including a 3-2 win over host Nebraska. The Anteaters nearly advanced to the College World Series, but fell one inning short of sweeping No. 2 LSU before the Tigers came back to win the Super Regional. While at UCI, Silva's pitching unit produced a 3.89 ERA and helped the program to its first Big West Conference championship. The Anteaters qualified for the NCAA Tournament all three years and were eliminated in 2010 by eventual national runner-up UCLA.
"Coach Silva is one of the best in the country," Erstad said. "He has been a part of many successful teams, and his track record speaks for itself. I wanted to keep an open mind through the search and in the end I knew who I had to go after. I look forward to working with Coach Silva and am extremely excited he is coming to Nebraska."
Silva took an assistant coaching position at Loyola Marymount under Gill for the 2011 season. The two were teammates on the 1994 Cal State Fullerton squad that finished 47-16 and reached the College World Series. In his only season with the Lions, Silva's pitchers posted a 3.25 ERA to rank 30th nationally, cutting the team's ERA nearly in half from 2010 (7.21). A trio of LMU pitchers were selected in the 2011 MLB Draft, including a pair of top-15 round selections in Jason Wheeler (8th round) and Alex Gillingham (11th round). During his first two seasons, Wheeler was 1-4 with a 7.80 ERA before improving to 6-4 with a 3.84 ERA in his junior year under Silva. Gillingham, who earned 2011 first-team All-West Coast Conference honors, saw similar improvement, as he was 6-8 with a 5.51 ERA before producing an 8-4 campaign in 2011 with a 2.49 ERA.
Silva and Gill were on staff at their alma mater in 2005 and 2006 when Silva served as a volunteer assistant coach. The Titans won the Big West Conference championship both years and reached the College World Series in 2006 when CSF produced an NCAA-best 2.73 ERA. Silva helped coach All-Americans and future first-round selections Ricky Romero (2005) and Wes Roemer (2006) to Big West Pitcher of the Year honors. After a year at Fresno State, Silva accepted the UC Irvine pitching coach position and led four Anteater hurlers to a combined 19 All-America awards. Scott Gorgen (2008) and Daniel Bibona (2009-10) collected Big West Pitcher-of-the-Year accolades in his three years at UCI to give Silva a hand in five Big West Conference Pitcher-of-the-Year awards.
During his three seasons at UCI, the Anteaters posted some of the best marks in school history, including the nation's third-best ERA in 2008 at 3.27, the program's best since 1974. The same season, UCI struck out a school record 503 hitters. The following year, UCI tied the school record with 20 saves, while the 2010 season saw the Anteaters achieve the league's second-best totals in ERA (3.98) and strikeouts (483). Silva spent the 2007 season at Fresno State and helped the Bulldogs to an NCAA Regional appearance. As a team, Fresno State finished with the second-best ERA in the WAC at 4.54, while three Bulldog hurlers ranked in the top 10 individually. Prior to his coaching days, Silva was a standout pitcher at Cal State Fullerton from 1993-95. A two-time first-team all-conference selection, Silva was 26-7 over his career with a 2.92 ERA and 26 saves, the fourth-most in school history. Silva, who earned 1995 first-team All-America honors, played a key role in the Titans' run to the national title, including earning the win in the championship game against USC. The 1995 Big West Conference Pitcher of the Year, Silva finished the season as the national leader in victories with a single-season school-record 18 wins (18-1) to go along with six saves. He produced a 2.83 ERA with 142 strikeouts.
As a sophomore, Silva was named a second-team All-American by Collegiate Baseball after he went 4-4 with a 2.29 ERA and 13 saves, the third-most in Titan history. He earned a spot on Team USA following the season.
Silva was selected by the Texas Rangers in the 21st round of the 1995 MLB Draft, the same year Erstad was the No. 1 overall pick by the California Angels. He spent five seasons in the Rangers organization, including one year pitching overseas in Taiwan, while also playing in the independent Atlantic League.
Silva, who also served as an assistant coach at Villa Park High School in 2004, attended Redondo Union High School in Redondo Beach, Calif., and graduated in 1992.