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Coaching Staff

SilvaMike Silva | Associate Head Coach

On July 6, 2018, Louisiana Tech baseball head coach Lane Burroughs announced the addition of Mike Silva to the baseball coaching staff. Silva will serve as the team’s associate head coach, working mainly with the Bulldog pitching staff, after spending the past two seasons as the pitching coach at Little Rock.

Silva brings a wealth of experience to Ruston, after guiding the Little Rock pitching staff to the fifth-lowest ERA in the Sun Belt in 2018. The Trojans lowered their team ERA in each of Silva’s two seasons in Little Rock. This past season, Little Rock pitchers averaged 8.5 strikeouts per nine innings under Silva’s tutelage – second best in the Sun Belt.

In taking over the reins of the Bulldog pitchers, Silva inherits one of the deepest and most experienced staffs not only in Conference USA, but across the nation. Last season, the Bulldogs led the league and ranked 25th nationally with a 3.48 team ERA.

“Obviously we felt this hire was of the utmost importance with the majority of our innings and workload returning for the 2019 season,” Burroughs added. “We wanted to do what’s in the best interest of our players and of course further the direction and future of the program.  We tried to get out in front of the situation and show our program’s stability and the forward direction we continue to move.  We were absolutely flattered with the amount of interest this position generated.  I think that speaks volumes about Louisiana Tech, Ruston and the leadership at our University specifically our President, Dr. Les Guice and Athletic Director, Tommy McClelland.”

In 2017, Silva coached his pitching staff to a program-record 463 strikeouts. 
Little Rock's pitchers recorded 8.5 strikeouts per nine innings — ranking third in the Sun Belt and 47th nationally. They also allowed the third-fewest hits in the league at 8.83 per nine innings.

Silva also brings experience at the professional level, as he worked as an area scout for the San Diego Padres in 2016, scouting talent in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota.

Prior to his time as a scout, Silva was an assistant coach at Texas State from 2013-15. Under his guidance, the Bobcats reached the conference tournament in all three seasons and saw six players selected in the MLB Draft.

Prior to joining the Bobcats, Silva was the head coach at Galveston College where he led the team to its first regional tournament in five years and first season above .500 in the past 13 years. His team ranked as high as 11th in the nation during the campaign.

Before Galveston, Silva was the head coach at Clarendon College for three seasons. During his three-year stint at Clarendon, Silva’s teams earned 111 victories, making him the winningest coach in program history. In 2010, the team picked up the second-highest ranking in program history at No. 15 while Silva also formed the school’s second All-American and conference player of the year.
Prior to becoming head coach at Clarendon, Silva served two stints there as an assistant coach. In 2008, the team earned 40 wins and proceeded to the regional championship during his second time with the program. Silva initially joined the team as an assistant from 2003-05.

Between stints at Clarendon, Silva spent the 2006 season as an assistant at Bethany College where the team won 40 games and attained a No. 18 ranking in the NAIA national poll.

Before his days a coach began, Silva was a catcher at Northwestern Oklahoma State University from 2001-03. He helped lead the team to three straight regional tournaments, a 49-win season in 2001 and the highest national ranking in program history at No. 11. Silva hit .426 in 2001, finishing 19th in the nation. Before making the move to coaching, Silva played two seasons of independent baseball.

“One of the things I most admire about Mike is that he has worked his tail off to get to this position,” Burroughs added. “He has earned everything in his career.  I could have searched every corner of the earth and couldn’t have found a better match for our culture at Louisiana Tech.  This man is a worker, blue collar and tenacious in his approach to his craft. I absolutely can’t wait for him to get in the trenches with our guys and watch them grow under his tutelage.  We always say ‘you get who you are’ and trust me, this is the case with Coach Silva and he wants to be at Louisiana Tech.”

Silva, a native of Hull, Mass., earned his bachelor’s degree in leadership at Bellevue University in Bellevue, Nebraska, before receiving his master’s degree in education at East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma. He is married to the former Reagan Page and has a son, Dylan.

Travis Creel | Assistant Coach

Louisiana Tech head baseball coach Lane Burroughs announced on July 11, 2016 the addition of Travis Creel to his staff as the Bulldogs' assistant coach and director of camps.

Creel joins Louisiana Tech after spending two years at Jones County Junior College, helping guide the Bobcats to a 2016 NJCAA Division II National Championship. During his stint with the Bobcats, Creel served as the hitting coach, infield coach and recruiting coordinator.

"We are so thrilled that Travis will be joining us at Louisiana Tech," Burroughs said. "Travis is a winner. I recruited him out of high school and saw him continuously get better as a player through college. He played under two men that I consider mentors and family in Corky Palmer and Scott Berry. He has also worked alongside Dillon Sudduth, Chris Kirtland and obviously, Coach Ostrander, three men I have the utmost respect for."

Prior of joining the Bobcats, Creel began his coaching career serving as the hitting coach at Meridian Community College for a season. During that year, Creel also worked with the infield.

Originally from Ocean Springs, Mississippi, Creel was recruited by, then Southern Miss assistant, Burroughs. Over his five years with the Golden Eagles, Creel would help lead Southern Miss to three NCAA Tournament appearances and one appearance in the College World Series.

Creel holds the Southern Miss single-game record for hits in a game with six and in two separate seasons, led all of Conference USA in sacrifice bunts.

A two-time team captain, Creel was awarded the USM Colonel Fletcher Leadership Award.

"Travis has played in the College World Series and won a national championship as a coach," Burroughs said. "His knowledge and maturity far exceed his years. Our players are going to love working with Coach Creel on a daily basis. Please join me all Bulldog fans in welcoming Travis, his wife Alison and young son Brody to Ruston. I could not be more pleased with the staff we have assembled. Our better days are ahead."

Creel has earned both a Bachelor of Science (2012) and Master of Science in Sport Coaching Education (2015) from the University of Southern Mississippi.

Creel and his wife Alison have one son, Brody.

KnightAustin Knight | Assistant Coach

On Friday morning, Louisiana Tech head baseball coach Lane Burroughs announced that Austin Knight would be joining the Bulldog Baseball staff for the 2018 season.

Knight will come to Ruston as the volunteer assistant coach, replacing Travis Creel who was promoted to the Bulldog hitting coach and recruiting coordinator last week.

“I’ve known Austin a long time,” Burroughs said. “He comes from a baseball family and a long lineage of coaches in the Knight family. His dad (Larry – Sumrall HS [MS]) is one of the most respected and successful coaches not only in Mississippi, but the entire country. [Austin] is a student of the game and the classic overachiever. He is an extremely hard worker that worked himself into a starter at Ole Miss, on a squad that played in the College World Series. He’s also learned and worked under two men I have the utmost respect for in Mike Bianco and Chris Curry.”

The former Ole Miss Rebel has spent the past two seasons as a graduate manager at Little Rock working under Currry. During those two years with the Trojans, Knight spent time working with the catchers and assisting with hitting.

“I am so excited about Austin working with our catchers,” Burroughs continued. “He coached Brent Diaz in the Cape last summer and helped Brent develop into one of the best catchers in the country. He is a rising star in our profession and I’m convinced that he will add a tremendous amount of value to our program.”

After spending the 2016 summer with Brent Diaz, the junior saw a significant increase in offensive output. Diaz not only saw an increase in power numbers, but also saw his average rise nearly 60 points from 2016 to 2017 leading to the Miami native being named a finalist for the Johnny Bench Award.

Diaz is not the only high-profile catcher that Knight has worked with. While with the Cape Cod League, Knight also coached Matt Whatley, a third-round pick of the Oakland A’s in this year’s draft and the winner of the 2017 Johnny Bench Award. Overall, Knight worked with five catchers who were selected in the 2017 MLB Draft.

“I am extremely excited for the opportunity Coach Burroughs has given me to join the Louisiana Tech baseball coaching staff,” Knight said. “I have known Coach Burroughs for a long time and I know he and his staff are class acts and it is an honor to be able to work with great people whom I have tremendous respect for. I can’t wait to help build on to the success that the program has had in recent years in any way that I can.”

Knight lettered for four years at Ole Miss, helping lead the Rebels to a 2014 College World Series appearance. He received bachelors in Business Management in 2015 from Ole Miss and a Masters in Sports Management from Little Rock in 2017.

“He’s a man of character and integrity and as everyone knows, those are two huge cornerstones of our culture at Tech and play huge roles in what we are trying to achieve here in Ruston,” stated Burroughs.