By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
There will be a new chief tactician for the University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons women’s volleyball team.
After Kenyan coach Godfrey Okumu announced his departure from the Fighting Maroons, widely-renowned mentor Shaq delos Santos will officially return to the UAAP and take over the UP volleyball program.
The UP women’s volleyball management formally announced and welcomed the veteran mentor as their newest head coach last Monday, August 15.
After six long years of failing to qualify in the UAAP women’s volleyball Final Four, the UP management thought something might need to change and tapping a champion coach in delos Santos became their first move.
Delos Santos first got a taste of the UAAP women’s volleyball scene when he rendered his services to the Far Eastern University (FEU) Lady Tamaraws and led them to three Final Four appearances from 2014-2017.
After leaving the FEU volleyball program, delos Santos became a part of the coaching staff of the Philippine Women’s national volleyball team while accepting the head coaching job for the Petron squad in the Philippine Superliga.
Delos Santos then proved his worth under Petron and steered them to four Superliga championship titles from 2017-2019.
Currently, the veteran shot caller is the head coach of the Cignal HD Spikers joining the Premier Volleyball League (PVL).
Under Delos Santos’ mentorship, the HD Spikers clinched back-to-back bronze medals in the 2022 season including the recently concluded Invitational Conference.