Vince Silva – Lifetime Service to Wrestling
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Vince Silva

Honor: Lifetime Service to Wrestling
Year: 2022
Gender: Male
About Vince:

Vince began wrestling at Santa Maria High School where he won the CIF Southern Section in 1981 and in 1982, won the CIF Southern Section Masters Meet in 1982 after placing 4th as a junior, and then placed 4th as a senior in the CIF State Championships at 138 pounds.

He was the first and only “walk-on” in Oklahoma State University’s wrestling history to make the starting lineup as a sophomore and then start in three consecutive seasons. A team captain in his senior year, Silva was a Big 8 Conference Champion in 1988 at 158 pounds when he was ranked No. 2 nationally with a record of 18-1 behind North Carolina’s Rob Koll. Vince was a two-time NCAA Division 1 All-American after placing 7th in 1986 with a record of 31-16-1 at 150 pounds, and then 5th in 1987 with a record of 27-13-2.

When Vince began coaching, he served as an assistant at the University of Nebraska for two years under Head Coach Tim Neumann where he was named the Big 8 Conference Assistant Coach of the Year. He then coached two years at the University of Minnesota under legendary Head Coach and Hall of Fame member Jay Robinson.

Silva returned to California and served as an assistant coach for Head Coach Frank Gonzales for two years at Santa Ana College. Vince became Head Coach there in 2000, and he continues to guide the Dons today. His team won the 2005 California Community College Athletic Association State Championships, and he was designated the CCCAA Wrestling Coach of the Year as well as the National Coaches Association Wrestling Coach of the Year.

In 2009, his team won another California CCAA Championship while going undefeated in dual matches and tournaments. Vince was again named the California JC Coach of the Year. During his tenure at Santa Ana College, Silva has coached 75 State Placers that include 60 All-Americans, 27 State Finalists and 13 individual State Champions.

In 2007, Vince was inducted into the Santa Barbara County Athletic Round Table Hall of Fame for his wrestling achievements, and in 2008, he was awarded the prestigious Bob Bubb Coaching Excellence Award in recognition of his accomplishments as a college coach who epitomizes the characteristics of a role model and mentor for developing studentathletes. He was inducted into the Orange County Wrestling Hall of Fame, and in 2015 he was inducted into the California Wrestling Hall of Fame