An expert in both indoor and beach volleyball, Marcio Sicoli enters his 12th season with the Waves. The 2020 season will mark his second as Pepperdine’s head coach.
Sicoli was a member of the indoor volleyball coaching staff for six seasons from 2008-13. After the 2013 indoor season, he turned to the sand to focus solely on the beach game, where he was been Nina Matthies’ assistant coach since the sport emerged in the spring of 2012. After she announced her intent to retire after the 2018 campaign, Sicoli was directly elevated to the role of head coach at the completion of the season.
In his seven seasons on the beach, the Waves have taken home the AVCA National Championship title twice and are one of only two teams all-time to earn berths in every single national championship available from AVCA to NCAA. Pepperdine’s 14 players to earn 20 separate AVCA All-American honors leads the nation all-time on both counts.
In the 2016 season, senior Taylor Racich and freshman Heidi Dyer earned AVCA All-American status. Pepperdine also won the first-ever West Coast Conference Championship crown in Santa Monica, going 3-0 to take the honor. Six Waves picked up All-WCC accolades, including three first team selections. Three Waves also were tabbed to the WCC All-Freshman squad for their efforts on the sand.
In the 2017 season, the Waves finished as runners-up at the 2017 NCAA Beach Volleyball Championships, while also taking home the second-consecutive WCC tournament and regular season crown. The team finished the season ranked No. 2 in the AVCA Coaches Poll, while amassing a 27-5 overall record. The following 2018 campaign, Pepperdine earned the program’s third-straight WCC tournament title and a third-berth into the NCAA Tournament, this time as the No. 2 seed.
In 2018, the team finished with a 25-5 overall record and a No. 4 final AVCA national ranking. Corinne Quiggle and Deahna Kraft became the 13th and 14th Pepperdine beach volleyball players to earn AVCA All-American honors and the two along with Brook Bauer garnered WCC Player, Defender and Freshman of the Year honors.
Sicoli also served as the coach for two back-to-back Olympic Games, first in 2012 with Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor and again in 2016 with Walsh Jennings and April Ross.
He tutored Walsh Jennings and May-Treanor, arguably the best beach volleyball duo of all time, during the 2012 Olympics in London. Walsh Jennings and May-Treanor entered the Games as the No. 3 seed, and went a perfect 7-0 to claim an unprecedented third-straight gold medal. At the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games, Walsh Jennings and Ross took home the bronze medal.
Prior to London, Sicoli served as the assistant coach for the Waves during the inaugural year of collegiate sand volleyball. After an undefeated season, Pepperdine captured the AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball National Championship in Gulf Shores, Ala. The team’s top pair of Caitlin Racich and Summer Ross won the individual pairs championship.
Pepperdine reached the finals of the sand national championship once again in 2013 after finishing the regular season with an 18-0 record.
Since joining the Waves’ staff in 2008, the indoor squad has posted a record of 116-57 (.671), won one West Coast Conference Championship and reached the NCAA Tournament three times.
Pepperdine has gone a combined 85-13 (.867) in beach volleyball with Sicoli on the sidelines.
Sicoli, a native of Brazil, boasts an impressive international resume, as he was an assistant coach for the Brazilian Olympic women’s beach volleyball team from 2000-04. One of their duos earned a silver medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens.
“His wisdom is well beyond his years,” Walsh Jennings said of Sicoli. “There’s also a youthfulness and enthusiasm that is really contagious. He makes practice every single day really fast, really challenging.”
“We’re really excited to have Marcio,” said head coach Nina Matthies at the time of Sicoli’s hiring. “He brings some great experience and a lot of enthusiasm, energy and some new ideas and we’re really thrilled to have him.”
Sicoli received his bachelor’s of physical education degree from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in 2001 and competed for the men’s volleyball team as the setter from 1999-2002. He holds a specialization in sports training (earned in 2002-03) and holds a Brazilian Beach Volleyball Level II coaching credential (earned in 2001). And in 2015, earned his Masters Degree in Educational Psychology from Pepperdine University.