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Mr. Steve Silvey
|Steve was at Mississippi State University from 2013-2019.
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Renowned coach hired to lead UL track
One of the nation's most successful track and field coaches will shoulder the task of bringing UL's program back to prominence.
That's not just hyperbole. In Steve Silvey's case, the numbers speak volumes.
Silvey, the ultra-successful former track coach at Blinn College who has also served on the staffs at Arkansas, Oregon, Texas A&M and Texas Tech, has been hired as men's and women's track and field coach at UL.
Official announcement from the university is expected today. Silvey replaces Lance Veazey, who resigned earlier this month to accept a high school administrative position in Houston. Ironically, Veazey was an assistant under Silvey for two years at Blinn.
The 50-year-old Silvey has been part of 28 national championship teams, 13 while on the staff of UL alumnus John McDonnell at Arkansas and 15 in his seven years as head coach at Blinn. Since the Brenham, Texas, junior college discontinued its program, Silvey has been an assistant at some of the nation's top track programs.
"I like challenges in life," Silvey said Tuesday. "I told a recruit last night that if he checks my background, every place I've been I've been a winner. We just need a couple of years to get this thing turned around."
Silvey served the last three years as sprints and hurdles coach at Texas Tech, helping the Red Raiders win their first Big 12 Conference title in 2005. But that success isn't unique on his resume.
In all, he has coached 561 All-Americans, 28 World Championship entrants, 15 World Championship medalists and 34 Olympians. Prior to Texas Tech, he was an assistant for the storied Oregon program for two years and helped the Ducks win the Pac-10 Conference title for the first time in a dozen years.
Under McDonnell at Arkansas, Silvey helped the Razorbacks claim 17 SEC team titles, and his athletes won 15 All-America honors and 13 outdoor SEC individual titles.
Five times at Blinn, Silvey was the national junior college Coach of the Year, and his 1992 teams set records for most points scored in an indoor (288) and outdoor (263) national meet. He was inducted into the National Junior College Track and Field Hall of Fame two years ago.
He takes over a Cajun program that won 17 conference titles in a 12-year period that spanned the 1990s, but one that has struggled to evade the Sun Belt Conference cellar over the past few seasons. Silvey was intimately familiar with UL's earlier run of track success, since Blinn was a regular visitor to Cajun Track during its heyday.
That's part of the reason Silvey turned down the Arkansas State head job two weeks ago prior to accepting the UL position.
"Just knowing about the tradition of the past, what coach (Bob) Cole and coach (Charles) Lancon did, and knowing it had been a winner, that was important to me," Silvey said. "These people and a lot of others deserve to have a winning track program again."
June 27, 2007
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Cajuns Tab Silvey as Track Coach
Track & Field 06/28/2007 Courtesy RaginCajuns.com
LAFAYETTE - The University of Louisiana at Lafayette announced on Wednesday that Steve Silvey has been hired as the new head track coach. Silvey will oversee the men�s and women�s cross country, indoor track and outdoor track & field programs.
Silvey is a veteran at the national and international level for more than 20 years. He comes to Louisiana after having served as an assistant coach at Texas Tech since 2004. Silvey replaces Lance Veazey, who had been the Cajuns head track coach since the beginning of the 2002 season until resigning in June.
Silvey will assume the position beginning July 15. His hiring is pending approval by the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors.
While with the Red Raiders, Silvey helped lead the men�s outdoor track & field team to the 2005 Big 12 Championship. He coached numerous NCAA individual All-Americans and relay All-Americans, several Big 12 individual champions and many All-Big 12 performers.
In 2007 alone, Silvey coached senior Marlon Odom to 60M hurdle and 110M hurdle school records, Big 12 titles and All-America accolades. He coached senior Bryan Scott in the 400M hurdles, earning a Big 12 title, Midwest Regional title and All-America status. He coached sophomore Jansen Hyde to his first-ever national qualification in 400M hurdles. In addition, his men�s 4x400M squad qualified for the indoor nationals and the men�s outdoor team finished as runner-up at the Big 12 Championships.
�Steve Silvey is a proven winner,� Interim Director of Athletics David Walker said. �His accomplishments place him in an elite group of coaches, and we are proud to have him associated with the University.
�Silvey�s enthusiasm for the sport is contagious, and his desire to build a winning program at UL made him the obvious choice to lead our track program.�
During his first season in Lubbock, Silvey saw his new athletes earn 12 indoor all-conference honors, one indoor conference title (Andrae Williams, 600Y), five indoor All-American plaques, 21 outdoor all-conference honors, three outdoor conference champions (Tyree Gailes, 200M; Odom, 110M hurdles; Scott, 400M hurdles) and six outdoor All-America honors.
Gailes was also the conference runner-up in the 100M (10.36). Silvey�s 4x100M and 4x400M relays earned bronze and silver finishes, respectively, at the Big 12 Championships. In the 400M, his athletes took second-, third-, fourth- and sixth-place finishes, accumulating 22 points for the team total. In the 400M hurdles, he guided three of his athletes to top five finishes, totaling 23 points. The sprints, hurdles and relays accounted for 100 points at the conference meet.
His athletes set three indoor school records, one ATC record and four outdoor school records, as members of the 2005 Big 12 Team Champions, the first track and field team title in school history.
Williams also earned a bronze finish in the 400M (44.90) at the NCAA outdoor championships, breaking the 45-second mark for the first time in his career. Williams was also a member of the 4x400M relay that clocked a school-record breaking time of 3:01.69, a world best at the time.
In addition to his 2005 NCAA accomplishments, Silvey also coached Williams to a gold medal in the 400M at the Bahamas national meet and a silver medal as a member of the Bahamas 4x400M relay at the 2005 World Championships.
During the 2006 season, Silvey�s hurdlers tallied five All-America honors and set four school records. Shawon Harris earned All-America accolades in the 60M, 4x400M (indoor) and the 400M hurdles. Odom and Scott each received the honor during the outdoor season, with Odom�s in the 110M hurdles and Scott in the 400M hurdles. Silvey coached both Harris and Odom to regional titles in hurdle events.
Silvey spent the previous two seasons as a University of Oregon assistant coach. Upon Silvey�s arrival in Eugene in the fall of 2001, his reputation of coaching winning athletes was immediately evident when they went from a fifth-place finish the previous year to a second-place finish in 2002. In 2003, the Ducks sent six sprint and hurdle entries to the NCAA Championships, to go along with a pair of West Regional champs, and nine top-nine finishers in the Pac-10 Championships. Silvey coached Samie Parker to fifth-place finish at the NCAA 100M final and was the NCAA regional champion with a seasonal best of 10.18. Parker also finished third in the 2003 NCAA Indoor Championship with an Oregon school record of 6.62. In addition, the University of Oregon won the Pac-10 Championship � an accomplishment not seen for the previous 12 years.
His first Duck unit in 2002 featured a pair of All-Americans - 110M hurdle school record holder Micah Harris (13.67) and 800M runner Simon Kimata. At the conference level, Brandon Holliday captured the Pac-10 title in the 400M hurdles and Harris earned runner-up honors in the 110M hurdles. At the NCAA level, Harris took seventh in the NCAA finale (13.78). In his debut indoor season, Parker finished fourth in the NCAA Championships 60M (6.66), after clocking a school record 6.63 in the prelims.
As the sprints/hurdles mentor for Arkansas from the fall of 1994 through the 2000 outdoor season, Silvey was a part of 13 NCAA indoor and outdoor track and field and cross country team titles and 17 SEC Team Championships. His athletes won 15 All-America honors (including one NCAA champion and two NCAA runners-up) and 13 outdoor SEC individual titles.
The 2000 season was perhaps the finest by his athletes, who posted one of the nation�s top times in the 4x100M relay (39.27), a collegiate record in the sprint medley relay (3:12.13), took second in the NCAA 4x400M (3:02.02), and won the prestigious Penn Relays shuttle hurdle relay in the fastest time in the world that season (55.37).
Prior to his arrival in Fayetteville, he was a five-time national coach of the year at Blinn Junior College, as his squads won 15 national championships in seven years. At the Brenham, Texas institution, Silvey produced 164 All-Americans, 128 individual national champions and 27 relay champions. His 1992 indoor and outdoor squads set the record for most points at the national junior college championships indoor meet (288) and outdoor meet (263). Track and Field News rated his recruiting classes best in the nation from 1989-93, a first for a junior college.
Individually, his resume boasts 561 All-America awards, 28 World Championships competitors, 15 World Championship medalists and 34 Olympians. Among the 11 Olympic medalists he�s worked with, Samuel Matete and Calvin Davis won the silver and bronze medals, respectively, in the 400M hurdles in Atlanta in 1996. Olympic 4x400M relay gold medalists Lamont Smith (400M, 44.30) and Darnell Hall (400M, 44.34) were also under the tutelage of Silvey.
In 2005, Silvey was inducted into the National Junior College Track and Field Hall of Fame after becoming the all-time men�s winningest coach with 15 national championships.
At the international level, he served as the Zambian head coach at the 1992 and 1996 Olympiads, and at the 1993 World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany.
A 1980 graduate of Truman State University (Kirksville, Mo.) with a bachelor�s degree in environmental science education, he added a master�s degree from Texas A&M in physical education in 1987.
Silvey has three children, Ryan, Nicole and Jarrett, and is married to Lou Rhea Williams.
Posted June 28, 2007
All of a sudden, the folks at UL have to start taking track and field seriously again.
That's what happens when you bring in a coach that's been a part of 28 national championships and has coached nearly 600 All-Americans.
With Steve Silvey's hiring, the Ragin' Cajuns made the first step toward returning to the days when the biggest challenge at Cajun Track each year was figuring out how to wedge more conference championships into the trophy case.
Silvey wasn't here during UL's run that included 17 conference titles in a 12-year period, but he wasn't far away. His legendary Blinn College teams were regular visitors to Lafayette, and he kept tabs on the UL program during stints at Arkansas, Oregon and Texas Tech because of his many local connections.
One of the people he kept tabs on was Lance Veazey, the Cajuns' coach since April of 2002 when he took over the program amid tragedy with the death of long-time coach Charles Lancon. Veazey was a Blinn assistant under Silvey for two years, and resigned at UL earlier this month to take an administrative position at a Houston private school.
"I have a lot of respect for Lance, but he hasn't had the resources available to him over the past few years," Silvey said.
Those resources have probably been promised to Silvey, or else he likely wouldn't have accepted the post. After all, he turned down the Arkansas State position in the last two weeks in anticipation of being offered the Cajun job.
"I was offered the job there and I already knew the AD there," Silvey said, "but I'd rather be in Lafayette. I realize that there were some holdups in not knowing about the budgets, but I'm glad it all worked out."
Silvey's a household name in collegiate track circles, and bringing him aboard is a huge coup for UL's program. The Cajuns' success in the not-too-distant past is another reason for his acceptance, but the people who have been involved in that success may be a bigger reason.
"This is something I want to do for a lot of people," Silvey said. "John (legendary Arkansas coach and former UL All-American distance runner John McDonnell) feels bad about the state of the program, and that's reason enough to get things going again. I want to do this for coach (Bob) Cole and coach Lancon, for people like Tommy Badon and Boo Schexnayder (former UL assistants) - for a lot of other people. They deserve to have a winning program again."
Silvey officially takes over Aug. 1, but he's planning on being in Lafayette early next week to start that rebuilding process.
"The first thing you have to do is spend a lot of energy and money on recruiting," he said. "We've got to get people back interested in the track program ... people in the community and in the state, boost our financial support and most of all get recruits interested in the program."
The latter part has already begun. Silvey spent part of his Tuesday speaking to a recruit in the Houston area. In addition to his current residence in Lubbock, where he has spent the last three years as a Texas Tech assistant, he also kept a home in Dallas.
"That helped a lot in recruiting in the metroplex," he said. "There's a lot of good athletes in Dallas and Houston as well as all over Louisiana. And I really think there are some great resources available ... we just have to utilize them."
Dan McDonald covers UL athletics for The Daily Advertiser. Reach him at (337) 289-6318 or email@example.com
Posted June 28, 2007
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