Souza Named Volleyball Assistant Coach
BERKELEY – California volleyball head coach Sam Crosson announced the hire of Otavio Souza as the program's new assistant coach on Tuesday.
Souza comes to Cal from Saint Mary's, where he spent the last two seasons as an assistant for the Gaels.
"We are extremely excited about Otavio joining our staff with Cal Volleyball," Crosson said. "Otavio has both played and coached at high levels throughout the country and internationally, is knowledgeable about training methodologies and skill acquisition, offensive and defensive systems, and will be a tremendous teacher and mentor to the student athletes within our program. He is driven, motivated to learn and we can't wait to begin our season and future with Otavio as a member of our staff."
In Souza's first year at SMC in 2018 the Gaels finished the regular season 19-9, their best mark since going 20-8 in 2010. The Gaels went 2-0 against Pac-12 programs that season and punched their first ticket to the NCAA Tournament since 2012.
During Souza's two-year stint at SMC, three-players earned All-Conference honors, including middle blocker Aubrey Pitts, who Souza coached directly.
"I am honored and excited to be joining such a distinct volleyball program and institution," Souza said. "For the past two seasons I had the opportunity to coach against Cal and closely observe the program evolve. Now, as a Bear, I'm looking forward to contributing to provide the best student-athlete experience to our players. I would like to thank Sam and the coaching staff for the chance to help this talented group of athletes and coaches achieve the goals of our program. I also would like to thank those who helped and guided me to get where I am today. Go Bears!"
Prior to Saint Mary's, Souza spent two years on the coaching staff at NCAA Division II member, Missouri State University. He worked with the team's hitters and blockers during one of MWSU's most historic seasons in 2017 as the Griffins shared the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association regular season title and won a tournament match for the first time in program history.
In his two seasons at Missouri Western Souza mentored 11 players to All-MIAA honors, including a conference Freshman of the Year. As a team, the Griffins 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, Souza spent two years as an assistant coach at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
A Florianópolis, Brazil native, Souza tallied impressive credentials in his time as a player at Brigham Young University in Utah from 2008-13. In his senior year he started 22 matches, collecting 119 kills, 94 blocks, 35 digs, 16 assists and seven service aces with a .431 hitting percentage.
He went on to play professionally for Itajai Pro-Volei and Florianopolis Voleibol in Brazil, along with the Florida Wave.