PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh athletic director Steve Pederson has announced the hiring of Alex Santos as the new head coach of the Pitt women’s tennis program.

“I am extremely honored to have the opportunity to lead the University of Pittsburgh women’s tennis program,” Santos said. “This would not have been possible without the trust that Steve Pederson, Donna Sanft and their entire staff put in my ability as a person and as a coach. I am a firm believer that special people can accomplish special things, and at Pitt, I am surrounded by them. I look forward to taking Pitt into a new era of ACC tennis.”

Santos comes to Pittsburgh after spending the past four years at Miami (Fla). Under his guidance, the Hurricanes have been a force on the national stage, earning top-10 national rankings each season and advanced to the NCAA tournament’s quarterfinals four times. Santos helped the Hurricanes capture their first 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. 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). 

“We are extremely excited to welcome Alex as our new head women’s tennis coach. He is a rising star in the tennis coaching world,” Executive Associate Athletic Director Donna Sanft said. “Alex is very competitive and he is an extremely hard worker. His knowledge and experience in the ACC both in recruiting and coaching will be invaluable as he leads us into our new conference.”

Santos was a coach at the prestigious Sanchez-Casal Tennis Academy in Barcelona, Spain from 2004-2006, 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.