Frederico Santos will begin his eighth season as the head coach of the UNC Asheville volleyball team in 2018. In his previous seven seasons at the helm of the program, Santos has compiled an overall record of 92-113 as well as a 47-55 record in Big South Conference matches.
Santos was introduced as the head coach on May 10, 2011, becoming the fifth head coach in program history.
As a head coach, Santos boasts a 138-144 record in 10 seasons, including a 46-31 mark at Barry University located in Miami, Fla. He has coached 15 all-conference players, five all-freshman team honorees, two All-Americans and one conference and region player of the year.
As the Bulldogs’ head coach, Santos has coached 11 all-conference players and two all-freshmen. Cindi Miller, Anna Moore. Rachel Wells and Cara Guthrie all earned first-team honors while with the program. He has taken two teams to the semifinals of the Big South Conference Tournament (2011, 2012) and former Bulldog Rachel Wells led the nation in digs in 2013, earning her a tryout with the U.S. National Team.
During the 2017 season, UNC Asheville picked up its most wins in league play since 2010 with nine. The Bulldogs finished 14th in all of NCAA Division I volleyball with 1.64 service aces per set. UNC Asheville's Cara Guthrie was chosen first-team All-Big South, while Ava Venema was tabbed to the Big South All-Freshman Team.
With an extremely young 2016 team that featured seven freshmen and three sophomores compared to two seniors and one junior, the Bulldogs went 12-16, reaching the Big South Conference Championships. Madison Vaughn earned her second-straight All-Big South Conference second-team honors and was named to the All-Academic Team while Guthrie earned All-Big South Honorable Mention plaudits.
Following a 2014 season that saw the Bulldogs go 8-22, the 2015 team bounced back to finish fourth in the Big South Conference regular-season standings with a record of 8-6 and 15-12 overall. Asheville advanced to the quarterfinals of the Big South Conference Championships, ultimately falling 3-1 to Winthrop. Christine Lakatos and Vaughn were both named to the All-Big South Conference Second Team.
The 2013 Bulldogs finished the year 17-14 overall and 7-7 in Big South Conference play. Asheville ended the regular season fifth in the conference standings and had three all-conference honors. The team started the year off red-hot, claiming their first four matches over Wright State (3-1), Boston College (3-2), Western Carolina (3-0) and North Carolina Central (3-0). The Bulldogs also went 2-1 in the UNC Wilmington Invitational with wins over Mercer (3-1) and North Carolina A&T (3-0). From Friday, Oct. 11 through Thursday, Oct. 17, the Bulldogs dropped just one set. Following the season, Moore and Wells earned Big South All-Conference First Team honors while Katie Davis was named an honorable mention. Erickson earned All-Freshman Team honors.
In Santos’ first two seasons in Asheville, his teams went a combined 27-34, including 15-14 in his first year of 2011. During that span, three players earned all-conference plaudits, including first-team honors by Cindi Miller in 2011. Moore earned second-team honors in both 2011 and 2012 while Davis was named to the Big South Conference All-Freshman team in 2012.
Prior to becoming the head coach at UNC Asheville, Santos was the head coach at Barry University for three seasons. In his three seasons 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. That 2010 squad posted a 16-7 overall record and an 11-5 mark in Sunshine State Conference play. The Bucs picked up key wins over No. 22 Saint Leo and 25th-ranked Rollins during the regular season. The Bucs capped their season by returning to the NCAA South Region Tournament for the first time since 2006.
Under Santos’ guidance, Julia Teixeira earned Sunshine State Conference Player of the Year honors as well as Daktronics South Region Player of the Year plaudits. She was also named a first-team All-American by both Daktronics and the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA). Camilla Pagnan also earned AVCA All-American honors. In addition to Teixiera and Pagnan, Lauren Evans and Ady Alcantara earned All-SSC honors while playing for Santos and Libby Walter and Leah Muys were named to the SSC All-Freshman team.
In 2009, the Buccaneers went 15-12 and 6-10 in SSC play. In 2008, Santos’ first season as a head coach, Barry posted a 15-12 record, showing improvement from the year before. The Bucs also improved their conference record from the previous season.
A native of Brazil, Santos has more than 20 years of international playing and coaching experience at all levels of the sport. Before taking over at Barry, Santos 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. During his first stint 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 first 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 his entire 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 as 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 bachelor’s degree in the spring of 2007 from UNC Asheville.
Santos is married to the former Nathalie Steffen, who 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.
Former Bulldog standout Jennifer Peterson is in her second season as an assistant coach with the UNC Asheville volleyball program.
During Peterson's first season as an assistant coach with the program in 2017, UNC Asheville picked up its most wins in league play since 2010 with nine. The Bulldogs finished 14th in all of NCAA Division I volleyball with 1.64 service aces per set. UNC Asheville's Cara Guthrie was chosen first-team All-Big South, while Ava Venema was tabbed to the Big South All-Freshman Team.
Jennifer Baker Peterson earned numerous accolades during her UNC Asheville playing career. She was a two-time Big South All-Academic selection (1998 and 1999). Peterson garnered Big South All-Conference and All-Tournament honors in 1999.
Since graduating from UNC Asheville in 2000, she worked for 16 years with the Biltmore Volleyball Academy. She is also a former assistant coach at Mars Hill.
Peterson also has extensive high school head coaching experience at North Buncombe High School, Asheville School and North Henderson High School.
Married to 1996 UNC Asheville graduate Brent Peterson, Jennifer Peterson and her family live in Arden.