Panthers perform well at nation's top collegiate tournaments
University of Pittsburgh head tennis coach Alex Santos begins his second season with the Panthers. Santos was hired on July 1 of 2013.
In Santos' first season with the Panthers, he helped one of his student-athletes accomplish something that has never been done in program history. Freshman Audrey Ann Blakely became the first-ever Pitt tennis player to crack the ITA singles rankings. Blakely checked in at No. 86 in the country on March 11 after she defeated No. 40 Kelsey Laurente of Miami. Blakely finished her freshman campaign with 33 combined victories.
Santos came to Pittsburgh after spending four years at the University of Miami (Fla) as an assistant coach. Under his guidance, the Hurricanes were a force on the national stage, earning Top-10 national rankings each season and advanced to the NCAA Tournament's "Elite 8" four times. Santos helped the Hurricanes capture their first-ever ACC title in 2013, and for his efforts he was named the ITA National Assistant Coach of the Year. The Hurricanes were No. 8 in the final ITA team national rankings.
Santos served as a volunteer assistant at Miami during the 2009-10 campaign prior to becoming a full time assistant. He was the team's graduate manager in the Fall of 2010, and was then promoted to a full-time assistant coach in January of 2011. While Santos was in Coral Gables, Miami played to an overall record of 85-24 (.780).
Santos was a coach at the prestigious Sanchez-Casal Tennis Academy in Barcelona, Spain from 2004-06, working alongside respected coaches and elite athletes at one of the top prep academies in the world. He has also spent time as a coach at Clube do Lago (2007), Vale de Lobo Tennis Academy (2001-03, 2007) and Club de Ténis de Tavira (2000-07).
A native of Oeiras, Portugal, Santos earned his undergraduate degree in sports science from Universidade Tecnica de Lisboa in 2005, and is currently working towards his PhD in exercise physiology at the University of Miami. As a player, Santos was one of the top-ranked juniors in Portugal.
Santos and his wife Joana have two children, Vasco and Maria Isabel.