Frederico Santos, a former assistant coach for UNC Asheville, begins his sixth season at the helm of the Bulldogs in 2016.
In 2015, Santos led the Bulldogs to a fourth place regular season finish with an overall record of 15-12, and a Big South Conference record of 8-6. The Bulldogs' season came to a close in the Quarterfinal round of the BSC Conference Tournament with a four-set loss to Winthrop.
The former Bulldog assistant came back home in June of 2011 after serving as head coach at Barry University in Miami for three seasons.
Santos has quickly showed that the winning tradition of UNC Asheville volleyball would continue under his guidance.
In his five years back in Asheville, Santos has taken two teams to the semifinals of the Big South Conference Tournament and has seen former Bulldog Rachel Wells lead the nation in digs in 2013, earning her a tryout with the U.S. National Team.
In three seasons as head coach at Barry, Santos led the Buccaneers to a 46-31 overall record and an appearance in the NCAA Division II South Regional Tournament in 2010.
A native of Brazil, Santos has more than 20 years of international playing and coaching experience at all levels of the sport. He spent eight seasons at UNC Asheville, including the last three as associate head coach under former head coach Julie Torbett. Santos assisted in all phases of the Bulldog program, including recruiting, on-court coaching, travel and pre-game setup. While at Asheville, Santos helped the Bulldogs to a 135-124 overall record. The Bulldogs reached the Big South Conference Championship match three times during his tenure and won the regular-season championship in 2002. The 2002 team was the most improved team in the country that season as Asheville finished with a 26-8 record.
Santos has been playing volleyball all his life beginning with club teams in Rio de Janeiro. He moved to Reno, Nev. in 1990 and starred for the University of Nevada-Reno club team from 1992-1996 where he was a setter. His club team was ranked fifth nationally by USA Today. In 1998, Santos played for the Reno Volleyball Club team as both a setter and outside hitter, leading the club to the USAV Nationals in Tucson, Ariz.
His coaching experience includes stops in Brazil, Iceland, Poland, Switzerland and Reno. Santos coached the Stjarnan Club team in Reykjavik, Iceland. He led the club to a 7-3 record in 2000 and a first place finish in the fall tournament. The team also finished runner-up in the Icelandic Cup and Icelandic Championships.
Santos has also worked with the men’s and women’s Brazilian national teams, which are among the best in the world. He earned his degree in the spring of 2007 from UNC Asheville.
Santos is married to the former Nathalie Steffen. Nathalie played volleyball for the Bulldogs from 1993 through 1996 and is a 1997 graduate of UNC Asheville. Nathalie’s sister Elissa also played for the Bulldogs and is a member of the school’s Athletics Hall of Fame. Frederico and Nathalie are the proud parents of two children, Gabriel and Tatiana.