The UC Irvine baseball coaching staff has been reshuffled with the departure of pitching coach Ted Silva to Loyola Marymount.
UCI Coach Mike Gillespie said Thursday that, pending administrative approval, Jason Dietrich, the Anteaters director of baseball operations the last three seasons, would replace Silva as pitching coach.
Eric Deragisch, a former Anteater standout who was the student volunteer coach last season, will assume the role of director of baseball operations, pending approval, Gillespie said.
Gillespie said Silva left on good terms and was lured to LMU by Lions Coach Jason Gill, a former UCI assistant. The two are good friends, said Gillespie, who estimated that Silva will make an estimated 25% more at LMU than he did at UCI. Silva’s involvement with camps at LMU will add some of the additional income, Gillespie said.
“After [Gill] let go his assistants about three weeks ago, he called me to ask for my blessing to talk to Ted,” Gillespie said. “They have been friends since the early 1990s. Ted and I got along great. I liked him. I think this was just a good career move for him. I was surprised that Loyola was able to do what it did financially for him.”
Gillespie said he has full confidence in Dietrich, who was the pitching coach and recruiting cooordinator at Cal State Los Angeles under UCI associate head coach Pat Shine in 2007. Dietrich, who pitched five seasons professionally, four in the Colorado Rockies organization, was also the pitching coach at Irvine Valley Community College from 2002 through 2006.
He pitched collegiately at Pepperdine after transferring from Santa Ana College. He played at Mater Dei High.
"[Silva, a former star pitcher at Cal State Fullerton who coached with the Titans after a brief professional playing career] was able to develop more name recognition and a positive reputation, which helped in terms of recruiting,” Gillespie said. “Jason will have to develop that and I’m confident he will. By virtue of the job [Dietrich] has been in the last three years, he has been flying under the radar when it comes to his abilities as a pitching coach. I’m very comfortable in him as a pitching guy. In fact, I’ve recommended him for jobs as a pitching coach since he has been here. And I know he came very close to taking a couple of scouting jobs. The people who know him, know he is a real good baseball guy and has great knowledge of pitching, specifically. He is understated and smart and, though he has been an office guy who, by rule, could not do coaching on the field, I’m confident he will step right into [the new role].”
Gillespie said the returning pitchers were surprised to learn of Silva’s departure on June 28, but said all the players like Dietrich.
Under Silva’s direction, UCI pitchers posted a combined 3.89 earned-run average the last three seasons, all of which included NCAA postseason appearnaces.
The Anteaters won the regional at Nebraska in 2008, and were three outs away from a return trip to the College World Series, before host LSU rallied to win the Super Regional.
UCI won the program’s first Big West Conference title in 2009, before being eliminated by Virginia in the first Division I regional hosted by UCI.
UCI finished second in the Big West in 2010 and was eliminated by host UCLA at the Los Angeles Regional.