Patric Santiago steps down as Iona volleyball head coach

Patric Santiago led Iona to its first MAAC Championship win since 2002.

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Patric Santiago led Iona to its first MAAC Championship win since 2002.

Ryan McFadden, Sports Editor

The Iona College Athletics Department announced on April 1 that volleyball Head Coach Patric Santiago has stepped down from his position at Iona to become the associate head coach at Duke University.

“I would love to thank Dr. Nyre, Matt Glovaski and Rick Cole for providing my family and I  with the opportunity to work with such incredible student-athletes at such an incredible institution,” Santiago said in a press release from the Athletics Department. “I truly valued my time here and will always consider myself a part of the Gael family.”

Santiago spent three seasons in New Rochelle and went 43-50 (30-22 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference). Iona struggled in Santiago’s first season, going 7-24. Santiago helped turn the program around, going 16-18 and 11-7 in conference play. Iona earned a three seed in the conference tournament, but fell to Fairfield in the championship match.

Iona dominated the 2018 season, going 20-8 and 16-2 in the MAAC. The Gaels won their second conference title in school history and earned a spot in the 2018 NCAA Tournament where they were knocked off by the University of Pittsburgh in the first round.

Santiago, the 2018 MAAC Coach of the Year, has helped the development of senior and MAAC Player of the Year senior Claire Archibald, 2017 MAAC Rookie of the Year sophomore Jamie Smith and 2018 MAAC Setter of the Year senior Emma Rose.

Iona was one of the top teams in the conference in kills, assists, service aces and points scored over the past two seasons.

“We wish nothing but the best for Coach Santiago as he takes this next step in his career,” Matthew Glovaski said in the same release. “He elevated the program to new heights in his three years in New Rochelle, and we look forward to bringing on a new leader to take the baton and run with it.”

Assistant Coach Nick Russo will be the interim coach for the team while the school searches for a suitable replacement.