Ted Silva was hired as Nebraska’s pitching coach and recruiting coordinator on June 17, 2011. Silva joined the Huskers from the West Coast, where he had spent the four seasons as a pitching coach at UC Irvine and Loyola Marymount.
Silva had led Nebraska's efforts to bring young talent to Lincoln. In the fall of 2013, Baseball America ranked Nebraska’s recruiting class No. 11 in the nation, the highest ranking for the Huskers in school history.
The class was the first full recruiting class under Head Coach Darin Erstad, Associate Head Coach Will Bolt and Silva.
On the mound, Nebraska's pitching staff put together one of its best efforts in nearly a decade in 2014. The squad posted a 3.50 ERA, the lowest since 2006 when the Huskers notched a 3.40 ERA. It was also just the second time since 2006 that the Huskers have had an ERA under 4.00.
Nebraska's rotation of Christian DeLeon, Chance Sinclair and Aaron Bummer were at the top of their game in early April when the Ohio State Buckeyes paid a visit to Hawks Field. The trio each tossed a complete game in the sweep of the Buckeyes, marking the only time in DI in 2014 that a team had three players each toss a 9.0 complete game in the same weekend series.
Individually, Sinclair thrived under Silva, as the junior college transfer from Spring Hill, Kan., was tabbed as a third-team All-American and an unanimous All-Big Ten pick after posting a 9-1 record with a 2.15 ERA. DeLeon was selected as a second-team all-conference pick and Bummer was picked in the 19th round by the Chicago White Sox after being picked in the 31st round by the New York Yankees in 2011.
In the bullpen, senior and third-team All-Big Ten pick Zach Hirsch was Nebraska's top left-handed reliever and his 1.72 ERA in 2014 ranks second in school history, trailing Bill McGuire's school-record 1.29 ERA in 1984. The one-time starter posted 50 strikeouts in 52.1 innings of work and was drafted in the 19th round by the Milwaukee Brewers.
Closer Josh Roeder led the Big Ten in saves with 12 and with 18 saves in two season, Roeder enters his senior season 13 saves shy of tying Brett Jensen's school record of 31 career saves.
Silva continued to rework Nebraska's pitching staff during his second season in 2013. With returning starter Kyle Kubat missing the first 33 games of the year with shoulder soreness, the Husker leaned on DeLeon, a junior college transfer, as their Friday-night starter.
DeLeon produced a 7-4 record and a 3.21 ERA. The junior righty led the Huskers in inning pitched (92.2) and strikeouts (46).
Kubat made a dramatic return against No. 10 Arkansas on April 16, as the sophomore threw the first 5.0 inning of a combined no-hitter, with Tyler Niederklein and Dylan Vogt finishing off the historic day. It was the fourth combined no-hitter in school history and the first no-hitter since four Huskers no-hit Peru State on March 6, 1993. It was also the first no hitter against a Division I program since April 5, 1981, when Anthony Kelley no-hit the Oklahoma Sooners in seven innings.
Kubat ended 2013 with a 5-0 record and a 1.81 ERA in eight starts. He became the 12th pitcher in school history to post a perfect record on the year with a minimum of five wins and the first to achieve the feat since 2006 when Jensen also went 5-0.
Another young lefty entered the starting rotation late in the 2013, as Bummer moved out of the bullpen. Bummer started in his final seven appearances of the season, and went 5.0 or more innings in six of the seven starts, including 7.0 innings in each of his final three starts. He carried a 3.86 ERA over his first nine appearances of the year, but ended the season with a 2.50 ERA after entering the weekend rotation.
Silva took over a young pitching staff in 2012 that returned no seniors and needed to replace its closer, after Casey Hauptman was picked in the 26th round of the 2011 MLB Draft by the New York Mets.
Under Silva’s guidance in 2012, Kubat, then a true freshman, emerged as one of the most consistent starters in NU’s rotation during the end of the season. Kubat, who won his final three starts during Big Ten play, was named a Freshman All-American by Collegiate Baseball, a third-team All-Big Ten performer and was selected to the Big Ten All-Freshman team.
In the bullpen, Vogt developed into the Huskers’ most dangerous arm late in games. The Omaha native posted a 1.84 ERA over 53.2 innings of work, while striking out 34 and giving up just five extra-base hits all year, including no home runs.
Silva also continued the development of Travis Huber, who led the 2012 team in saves with seven. After previously being picked twice in the MLB Draft in the 47th (2010) and 39th (2011) rounds, Huber was selected in the 23rd round of the 2012 MLB Draft by the Minnesota Twins and signed with the organization.
Silva, a native of Redondo Beach, Calif., and a 1995 All-America pitcher at Cal State Fullerton, helped lead UC Irvine to national prominence from 2008 to 2010, when the Anteaters qualified for three straight NCAA Regionals and won the 2009 Big West Conference title. He moved on to Loyola Marymount under longtime friend and former Titan teammate Jason Gill for the 2011 season.
In Silva’s first season as pitching coach at UC Irvine, the Anteaters 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 staff 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.
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).
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.
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 to 1995. 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 Nebraska’s Darin Erstad was the No. 1 overall pick by the California Angels. Silva spent five seasons in the Rangers organization, spent one year pitching overseas in Taiwan and also played 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.
Ted and Tiffany reside in Lincoln with their son Andrew.