MILWAUKEE – Marquette University head men’s soccer coach Louis Bennett announced today the addition of Marcelo Santos as assistant coach. Santos served the previous four seasons as a volunteer assistant for the Golden Eagles, the defending BIG EAST Conference Blue Division champions, in addition to coordinating the program’s youth camps and adult summer league.
“Marcelo is a great fit for our program,” said Bennett. “Like the rest of our coaching staff, he brings a different perspective and dynamic, but is focused on the common goal of maximizing player potential. He’s invested in Marquette, invested in the local soccer community and invested in our success. He has great chemistry with the staff and great rapport with our young players.”
Since 2009, Santos has overseen youth instruction as director of the Marquette University Soccer School, as well as assisting with on-field training of MU student-athletes. He is also credited with creating the first youth futsal league in the Milwaukee area, and has seen the program grow to over 40 teams and 450 youth players.
A native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, Santos came to the Milwaukee area in 2006 while also serving as a full-time assistant coach with the Thunder Bay Chill of the USL's Premier Development League, and has since helped with the placement of several MU players with the Chill for further supplemental development.
He helped coach the Chill to a division title in his first season with the team. Thunder Bay finished the 2007 campaign with a 10-3-3 record after posting a 2-11-3 mark the season prior to Santos' arrival. In 2008, the Chill won the USL-PDL Championship with a mark of 18-2-1. The 2009 season culminated in another playoff appearance for Thunder Bay, as the squad went 36-8-9 in Santos’ three seasons as an assistant coach.
His duties with the Chill included executing training sessions, game analysis, recruitment of players, overseeing the youth program and team administration.
Santos played with the Thunder Bay Chill in 2005 and 2006, while also playing futsal for World United F.C. in San Francisco, Calif., where he captured a U.S. National Championship in 2006. He has played professionally with three Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) clubs, including the Orlando Sharks, locally with the Milwaukee Wave and most recently with the California Cougars. Santos also spent the 2004 playing professional soccer in Sweden with Sandareds I.F.
After arriving in the United States in 2002, Santos played collegiately with Union College (Ky.), Alliant International University (Calif.) and at Holy Names University in Oakland, Calif. Santos began his coaching career as a senior at Holy Names, helping the head coach with team training and recruitment of student-athletes. He graduated from Holy Names with a bachelor's degree in business administration in May 2006.
Santos, 32, resides in Muskego, Wis., with his wife Regina and their daughter Gabriella Marie.