The 2016 season marked the ninth for Marcelo Santos as a member of the Marquette University men's soccer program. Santos joined Marquette as a volunteer assistant in 2008 and served in that role for four seasons prior to being promoted to full-time assistant on head coach Louis Bennett's staff. Since that time, the Golden Eagles have compiled a 47-33-13 overall record.
With Santos as a member of the coaching staff, Marquette has claimed two BIG EAST regular season titles (2011, 2013), a BIG EAST tournament championship in 2013 and three NCAA tournament appearances (1997, 2012, 2013).
Since the 2009 season, Marquette has seen 12 players reach the professional ranks and each Golden Eagle team has earned the NSCAA Team All-Academic Award.
The 2016 season was one of growth and revival as Bennett's top-10 rated recruiting class showed flashes of brilliance. As many as eight freshmen and newcomers saw the pitch and the team went 5-7-4 overall with a 2-5-2 mark in BIG EAST play. As a team, the Golden Eagles scored 26 goals, their most since 2013 when they last reached the NCAA tournament.
Luka Prpa, who finished one point shy of becoming the league's leading scorer in his debut season, totaled 26 points on 10 goals and six assists and was named BIG EAST Freshman of the Year and an NSCAA All-Great Lakes Region Third Team selection. Senior John Pothast earned Second Team All-BIG EAST honors and Bennett's squad is due to return all but two key members in what shapes up to be a promising 2017 season.
Injuries played a big factor in 2015, challenging the team's health at key positions and depth all over the pitch during a disappointing year that saw MU finish 5-10-2 overall. Despite the struggles, the team saw several bright spots with junior Louis Bennett II earning All-BIG EAST First Team and NSCAA All-Region Third Team status. Freshman Ruben Sanchez emerged as a key contributor as well, earning BIG EAST All-Freshman team accolades.
In 2014, the Golden Eagles faced a daunting schedule that featured six opponents (3 BIG EAST teams) that qualified for hte College Cup, including the previous to national champions, Notre Dame and Indiana. Despite the tough road, MU went 8-6-4 overall with five losses being decided by a single goal. The season was highlighted by an eight-match unbeaten streak (7-0-1) that saw senior goalie Charlie Lyon and the defense string together a program-record eight-consecutive shutouts spanning 804:58. Marquette earned the No. 6 seed in the BIG EAST tournament, ultimately falling to third-seeded Georgetown on the road, 2-1.
Santos helped lead the 2011 squad to a BIG EAST tournament championship and a No. 7 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament (MU's highest since 1997) and the staff was rewarded by being named BIG EAST Coaching Staff of the Year. The following season, MU started 12-0-0 on the way to an NCAA tournament appearance.
The 2013 season featured a BIG EAST regular season and tournament championship and culminated in the Golden Eagles' first-ever Sweet 16 appearance before falling to Virginia in the third round.
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.
In 2016, he was hired as the first head coach of the expansion franchise Kokomo Mantis FC ahead of their inaugural season. The franchise's first season was a success as he led the squad to a 4-6-4 record in one of the toughest divisions in all the PDL, defeating perennial powers Des Moines Menace and Chicago Fire U23. Santos has been instrumental in helping with the placement of several MU players throughout the USL 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, California. Santos began his coaching career as a senior at Holy Names, helping the head coach with team training and recruitment of student-athletes.
Santos is certified with his USSF "B" coaching license. He graduated from Holy Names with a bachelor's degree in business administration in May 2006.
Santos resides in Muskego, Wisconsin, with his wife Regina and two children, daughter Gabriella Marie and son Mateo Isaac.