Feature: Mike Silva


Photo by Brad Weimer

Nicholls State University’s newest baseball head coach Mike Silva was hired on July 9. Coach Silva was the associate head coach at Louisiana Tech University for four seasons before being hired to take over the Colonel baseball team. 

Coach Silva is many things, but the one word that best describes him best is fireball.

“I think that if I am going to ask someone to play for me or to come watch the games, but I am not excited or enthusiastic about the team, why would they ever come,” Coach Silva said. “If they can’t look at me and say ‘Wow, he is excited to be here today, and he looks fired up,’ then how am I going to call them up and tell them that I am not pleased with their effort or energy level; that is just not fair.” 

Athletic Director Jonathan Terrell said, “If you meet Coach Silva, you will need about two seconds to understand his level of energy and sincerity and his true, authentic love for the game and for people.”  

Louisiana Tech’s head coach Lane Burroughs said, “He has a lot of energy, he’s very engaging, and he is a real baseball savvy guy.”

Coach Silva said that the rich history of tradition and the pride that the community takes in the Nicholls baseball team is what was so appealing to him about this job.  

Coach Silva’s biggest goal for this program is to build a consistent Southland Conference Championship winning program. 

“I would like to be a consistent Southland Conference contender, you know, we want to win championships here,” Silva said. 

Coach Silva preaches that his plan for the future begins today, as he often states, “I do not have a five-year plan, I have a one-year plan that we are going to execute five years in a row.”

It is also important to note that Coach Silva has a bachelor’s degree in leadership and a master’s degree in education; however, Coach Silva believes that the experiences that led him to this point are more valuable to his coaching style.

“I know what I am supposed to say… I am supposed to say that the education side of it played a big role, but I think that life experiences have played a bigger role in it,” Coach Silva said. “Dealing with the players, dealing with the communities that you live in, and the day-to-day aspect of coaching a player involves a lot of learning and adjusting as you try to get better, and I believe that you have to be your own biggest critic.”

Louisiana Tech’s head coach Lane Burroughs said, “One thing that sets Coach Silva apart from the rest is the way that he is willing to take a chance on a player and to have confidence in a player that other coaches may have given up on.”

Coach Silva also believes in relationship-based coaching, as he wants the players to feel comfortable enough to walk into his office at any time to just talk about life. 

“The way that he connects to people is special because when he talks to you, you want to sit there and listen,” Terrell said. “He commands respect in every room that he walks into, and he does not just speak to speak, but he speaks for a purpose.”

“Coach Silva is very good at building relationships and building a level of trust, and if you do that sincerely, and the players see that you care and that you are giving it your all, then the players are going to be willing to run through a brick wall for you,” Coach Burroughs said. 

Coach Silva emphasizes the idea of Thibodaux being unique, as he wants this baseball program to be the type of experience that you could only get as a Colonel. 

“Nicholls is me, Nicholls is a school that has everything that you need to succeed, but it may not be the most luxurious,” Coach Silva said. “I come from a hard-working, blue-collar town and family, and that is what Thibodaux is.”

Terrell said that it was Silva’s blue-collar mentality that really attracted him.

 “I wanted someone who could come to Nicholls State University and fit, and when you talk about the fit, you are looking at the fact that you may not have everything that you need or want, and so you will have to fundraise and work hard to be able to get that stuff,” Terrell said. “If you look where he comes from and where he has been before this, it made him stand out because he has been on a tough path but has made those places successful.”