December 18, 2013
Gainesville, FL – After a long and thorough search, the Santa Fe Saints have tabbed former University of Florida Associate Head Coach Nick Cheronis as the first women’s volleyball coach in school history. Cheronis brings 32 years of coaching experience with him to SF, including 18 as Mary Wise’s right hand at UF from 1992 until 2009.
“I’d first like to thank Athletic Director Jim Keites, President Jackson Sasser, Vice president Naima Brown, the entire search committee and all of those who have given me this terrific opportunity to start this program,” said Cheronis. I’m humbled and honored to be a part of the Santa Fe family.”
President Sasser believes the hire of Cheronis is a match with the college’s goals.
“Excellence in every aspect of the college is our expectation,” said President Sasser. “Hiring Coach Cheronis ensures women’s volleyball will meet this standard.”
Athletic Director Jim Keites also expressed his excitement with the hire and also the satisfaction of a complete and thorough search by the college.
“Nick Cheronis possesses a wealth of knowledge of the game and has extensive experience at the highest level of collegiate volleyball. We feel he brings instant credibility to the program,” said Keites. “I commend the screening committee and the Administration of Santa Fe College for working through the hiring process in a timely, yet thorough fashion. The pool of candidates was very deep and very talented, but in the end I think we were able to get the right person to set the foundation for this program.”
Most recently, Cheronis was the head coach at St. Francis High School in Gainesville. He accepted the job there in 2011 and led the Wolves to back to back region and district championships, as well as back to back FHSAA 3A Final Four appearances in 2012 and 2013.
“I am confident that Coach Cheronis will build a successful volleyball program at Santa Fe College,” said Vice President Naima Brown. “In addition to having an impressive array of coaching experience, a student-centered coaching philosophy, and an unprecedented passion for the sport, Cheronis has significant ties within the local community, the state, the nation and across the globe that will benefit our team.”
From 1992 until 1995 Cheronis was an assistant at the University of Florida and in 1996 he was named the Associate Head Coach, a position he kept until departing the program after the 2009 season. During his tenure with the Gators, the team compiled a 568-62 record, won the regular season Southeastern Conference Championship 17 consecutive years from 1992-2007, and appeared in seven NCAA Final Fours.
“I can’t imagine a better person to start the program at Santa Fe,” said University of Florida Head Coach Mary Wise. “He’s been around volleyball in this community for years. He started the highly successful club program in Gainesville and has had his hands on some of the greatest volleyball played in the area.”
Prior to UF Cheronis was the Assistant/Interim Head Coach at Valparaiso University from 1982-85, Assistant Head Coach at Parkland Jr. College from 1985-87, an assistant coach at Eastern Illinois in 1987, a graduate assistant at Northern Michigan in 1988, and an assistant coach at Missouri State from 1989-91.
“This program has been wildly anticipated by the Gainesville community so that makes this opportunity even more appealing because there will be so much initial support from the local high schools and clubs,” said Cheronis.
Cheronis, who officially begins January 1, will begin recruiting and holding tryouts in early January. More information will be released as soon as it is made available.