When Darin Erstad was introduced as head baseball coach of Nebraska last June, he knew that building a great coaching staff around him would be a key to his success at the helm. And after doing his homework, Erstad knew exactly who he wanted to pursue when it came to a pitching coach.
Ted Silva was named the Huskers pitching coach two weeks after Erstad took the helm, but despite this seemingly quick search, the two men had never met before. This didn’t stop Silva from being impressed by the new Nebraska skipper.
“He was a very important in my decision on coming here.” said Silva. “I think everyone wants to work for the right boss and for the right baseball mind.”
Beyond his desire to work for a coach like Erstad, Silva was familiar with the baseball atmosphere in the state of Nebraska – another reason for choosing to become a Husker coach. “…along with having the opportunity to see what this place is like in the postseason – coming back here in 2008 with UC Irvine and the passion that the fans have and the support and resources in the community – it’s a pretty amazing place.”
Coach Silva hasn’t been coaching very long (in the college ranks since 2005) but has been successful no matter where he has been. Most recently he took a pitching staff at Loyola Marymount and cut their ERA in half from the previous season. This has been a recurring theme everywhere Silva has gone. Why has he been able to accomplish so much?
“It always starts with the players. Getting them to buy in, working hard and at the end of the day they get what they’ve earned,” said Silva. “It seems like I’ve been pretty fortunate to be in the right position at the right time and sort of feel that way here. I’m excited about getting started, and again not thinking about the end result – once it’s all done I’ll sit down and say ‘where were we good, where were we bad?’ but I don’t sit down and look at those types of numbers, I just know what I expect and I just try to make sure they’re prepared and we take our chances.”
Silva has also coached at Cal State Fullerton, (his alma mater) Fresno State and UC Irvine – all schools on the West Coast. But he doesn’t think that coaching in the Midwest will affect his coaching. “Whether it’s the Big Ten, Big West, Pac 10, SEC - baseball is baseball. You hear about the weather, that’s the only thing I’ve really heard: it might be a little cold at the start of the year. I think we have our work cut out for us; regardless of who we’re playing we still need to show up and play the type of Husker baseball that’s happened here in the past.”
When it comes to coaching, Silva says that he doesn’t have any specific philosophies, just general guidelines. “I know it’s important to show up and work each and every day, make sure there’s a plan in place, make sure the guys are getting down to buying in and believing and making sure they understand what we’re trying to accomplish: getting all 15, 16 guys on the same page.”
When it comes right down to it, Silva just wants to get out on the field and start playing games to see what his pitchers can do. “I’m excited. Giving credit to these players who have shown up from day one and committed to work worked hard, not just on the field but in the classroom, getting their bodies in shape and just dedicating themselves to be the best that they can be.”
Silva has moved around often in his young career, his longest stint at UC Irvine. (Three years) However, when asked what his plans were for the future of his career, Silva simply laughs.
“I’m just taking it one day at a time and enjoying every minute I get to spend here in Lincoln. I have moved around quite a bit, so I’m happy to be in one place and I’d love to be here as long as I can and as long as Coach Erstad will have me.”
- Josh Harvey -