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VB | Gaels Hire Souza as New Assistant

Saint Mary's volleyball welcomes new assistant coach Otavio Souza to the Gaels family.
Saint Mary's volleyball welcomes new assistant coach Otavio Souza to the Gaels family.
June 6, 2018

MORAGA, Calif. — Saint Mary’s volleyball head coach Rob Browning announced Wednesday the hiring of Otavio Souza as the program’s new assistant coach, bringing 10 years of experience as a collegiate player, professional player and coach at multiple levels.

“We are excited to welcome Otavio to the SMC volleyball family,” said Browning. “He has already made a positive impact on our team, and we know that will only be magnified as he joins us on our journey.”

Souza spent the last two seasons on the coaching staff at NCAA’s Division II member, Missouri Western State University. His work with the team’s hitters and blockers contributed to one of MWSU’s most historic seasons in 2017. The Griffins secured a share of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association regular season championship and advanced to win a tournament match for the first time in program history. Missouri Western also won 25 matches for the first time since 1997 and qualified for its first NCAA Tournament in 17 seasons.

In his first two seasons at MWSU, Souza helped coach 11 players to All-MIAA honors, including a conference freshman of the year. As a team, MWSU led the conference in kills, finished second in total blocks and ranked fourth in hitting percentage, kills per set and blocks per set.

Before Missouri Western, Otavio spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

“Otavio has the experience we need, the work ethic required, and the character we expect from all members of our team,” added Browning. “We have an outstanding group of student-athletes on this team, and the addition of Otavio to the Saint Mary’s family makes us even stronger.”

Souza’s impressive professional career included two seasons of play for three different teams including Itajai Pro-Volei and Florianopolis Voleibol in Brazil, as well as the Florida Wave in Phoenix.

Souza competed at the Division I level for Brigham Young University from 2008-2013. His senior year was his most dominant, starting 22 matches and collecting 119 kills, 94 blocks, 35 digs, 16 assists and seven service aces while hitting .431. BYU is also Browning’s alma mater.

 

 

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