Santiago has over 20 years of D1 coaching experience. He was the head coach at Southern Miss, Oklahoma, and Arkansas State. In 14 seasons at Oklahoma, Restrepo was responsible for the most successful era in program history. The Sooners had eight trips to the NCAA Tournament during his tenure, including six in a row from 2009-2014 and five consecutive 20-win seasons during that stretch.
While at OU, 14 student-athletes earned All-American honors from the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) and the organization recognized 10 Sooners with all-region accolades. Seven OU players garnered various Big 12 Conference “of the Year” honors and 61 earned Academic All-Big 12 awards. A total of 13 Sooners were awarded with the College Sports Information Directors’ (CoSIDA) Academic All-District distinction. Suzy Boulavsky (now Buechele) became the program’s first Academic All-American in 2010 after being named to the CoSIDA third team the previous season.
In his lone season at Oklahoma City University, Restrepo guided the Stars to a 31-6 record and an appearance in the NAIA Championships. He saw the program become home to an NAIA All-American, four NAIA Scholar Athletes, Sooner Athletic Conference Title, Sooner Athletic Conference Hitter of the Year, six all-conference picks, five academic all-conference picks and four conference scholar athletes.
Prior to his time in Oklahoma, Restrepo spent three seasons as head coach at Southern Miss. In Restrepo’s final season there, he led his 2003 team to a program-best 27-6 record and was named Conference USA Coach of the Year.
A former NCAA Division I All-American at East Stroudsburg, Restrepo was also a four-time all-conference selection. He earned team most valuable player honors all four years and was the co-winner of the senior athlete award in 1986. He was inducted into the East Stroudsburg Hall of Fame in 2004. Following his collegiate career, Restrepo played one season professionally in France and returned to the United States where he played on the American Volleyball Players Pro Beach Tour.
Suzy Buechele, formerly Suzy Boulavsky, played for Santiago Restrepo in the 2008-2011 seasons. She earned Big 12, All-Region, and All-American honors under the head coach and was a Lowe’s Senior Class Award Finalist. She was also the first volleyball player to receive the NCAA post graduate scholarship and was nominated for NCAA Woman of the Year in 2012. Buechele currently works at Upside SportsPlex as a volleyball trainer, where she works with athletes from all over the greater Houston area.