Israel Silva joined the South Dakota State wrestling coaching staff in the spring of 2012. Silva brought enthusiasm, intensity and international wrestling experience to the Jackrabbit program.
Silva’s second year on campus saw the Jacks go 6-8 overall, including a 3-2 Western Wrestling Conference dual mark and had three wrestlers qualify for the NCAA Wrestling Championships.
As a team, SDSU beat Wyoming for the first time in school history and wrestled for the WWC dual championship in its regular-season finale, but fell to North Dakota State.
Under Silva’s guidance, Alex Kocer and Joe Brewster qualified for the NCAA Championships for the first time, while two-time WWC Wrestler of the Week Cody Pack made a return trip.
In his first year as assistant coach at SDSU, Silva helped lead the team to a 5-12 dual record, 1-4 Western Wrestling Conference record and fifth in the conference standings. The team qualified one wrestler for the NCAA Championships via the West Regional.
SDSU scored its most notable win and first win versus a major conference opponent since transitioning to Division I in its season opener. The Jacks defeated Big Ten opponent Indiana 19-18 at the Huskie Duals in DeKalb, Ill.
The SDSU coaching staff ushered in a new era in Jackrabbit wrestling with the sixth-best recruiting class in the nation (The Open Mat, Amateur Wrestling News). Eight student-athletes joined the wrestling team on signing day, including three ranked by AWN. The No. 6 ranking made it the best recruiting class for any sport in the history of Jackrabbit athletics.
Silva served as an assistant coach at the Northwest Wrestling Regional Training Center in Corvallis, Ore., for the past three years. The NWRTC is an Olympic-level regional training center that provides services for senior-level athletes to achieve national and international success. The majority of his time was spent with student-athletes at Oregon State University.
Prior to his time at the NWRTC, Silva was a volunteer assistant under Bono at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga for three seasons. A two-year starter for the Mocs, Silva earned a degree in sociology. He claimed the Southern Conference heavyweight title as a senior and was part of the Mocs’ SoCon team championship in 2006.
Silva put together an impressive post-collegiate career on the international wrestling stage, as well. He is a four-time World Team Member for Mexico, three-time Freestyle Pan American medalist and 2012 Olympic alternate over seven years of international experience.
Before wrestling at UTC, Silva was a two-time Junior College All-American at North Idaho College. He placed second at the national tournament his sophomore year and was third as a freshman. Silva led the team to the Junior College National Championship in 2002.
“Having coached and worked with Israel, he brings a great deal of work ethic and knowledge to SDSU,” Bono said. “His time at Oregon State and the Northwest Regional Training Center has helped him gain the experience to help us take this program to the next level. I am extremely fired up that Israel will be a part of the staff.”
A native of Marysville, Wash., Silva was a four-time state qualifier at Pilchuck High School. He captured the state title his junior season, finished as the state runner-up his senior year and placed sixth as a sophomore.