Kailua Grad Allan Silva To Coach Saint Louis Basketball

As a student-athlete at Chaminade University in the late 1970s, Allan Silva took an interest in the other team that called McCabe Gymnasium home — that being the Saint Louis Crusaders.

“When we were sharing the gym, I would see their practices and I thought I could coach them, too,” said Silva. “I was very young then, but I said to myself, one day I’m going to coach at Saint Louis.”

A former Kailua High standout and longtime Kaneohe resident, Silva will be doing exactly that as he recently resigned as Farrington’s head basketball coach to accept the same position at Saint Louis. He is already two weeks into spring workouts at the Kaimuki campus.

Silva’s departure was a surprise to some, given the success he’d had at Farrington. The Governors won three OIA titles as well as Division II state titles in 2008 and 2011.

“I’ve had a lot of people call me and congratulate me, and I’ve had a lot ask me why am I leaving Farrington (as a coach),” said Silva, who will still be a counselor/teacher and coordinator for Farrington’s Aloha Learning Center. “Some people don’t like change, but change happens and new growth emerges.

“Change is inevitable, and it was time for a change. Every year, at the end of the season, I’d been receiving offers from private schools, and I had told my athletic director (Harold Tanaka) I would be leaving someday.”

The prospect of a new challenge was a key piece in his decision. “I had taken the Farrington job because it was also a challenge. They hadn’t won a championship in, like, 40 years. I look at Saint Louis, and they haven’t won a state title since 1986 under Kaipo Spencer, so it’s a huge challenge. It would also be beneficial to the school and the community if we could win a championship.”

Said Saint Louis athletic director Wade Okamura: “We are extremely pleased to welcome Allan Silva to our head coaching staff. Allan’s depth of skill in basketball and his dedication to working with Hawaii’s youths make him an excel lent choice.”

Silva received a commendation from the state Senate as an Outstanding Advocate for Children and Youth in Hawaii, and from Dr. Arun Gandhi’s “We Are One Foundation” for his message of aloha that he shares with youths and adults. In recent years, Silva also has offered “The Ultimate Basketball Shooting Method” clinic nationwide for elementary, intermediate, high school, college and professional players.

Returning to the Chaminade/Saint Louis campus also was enticing. During Silva’s college days at Chaminade, where he starred for mentor and head coach Merv Lopes, Silva lived all four of his undergraduate years on campus in the Hale Hoaloha Dormitory.

“Saint Louis is the new (basketball) home,” he said. “I look forward to steering the program back to a winning tradition and to contribute to the overall development of our young student athletes.”

Silva also will bring Farrington assistants Karlos Olsen and Len Scaduto with him.

Scaduto, who will be the Crusaders’ associate head coach, is an Illinois Coaches Association Hall of Fame inductee, having spent 29 years as head coach at Oak Lawn High in suburban Chicago. He also spent three years as an assistant at Chaminade, where he first worked with Silva — who was then an assistant for the Swords.

Silva has maintained the coaches who were already part of Saint Louis’ lower levels. Silva will oversee Division I and DII varsity teams, a JV team and an intermediate team.

“In every program, assistants play a very big role,” he said. “It takes a village to raise a child. I wanted to give all the returning coaches a chance to stay, and I’ve been very happy with them. We have good coaches at every level.”

While Silva’s teams have enjoyed success on the court, he always has taken a holistic approach in his programs.

“You can learn a lot of life’s skills on the basketball court,” he said. “The question is, what will they do after they win a championship? How will they contribute to the world?”