After Bernardo Rezende announced his retirement as the head coach of the Brazilian men’s volleyball team earlier this week, the country was quick to appoint his successor: 56-year old Renan Dal Zotto.
Dal Zotto takes over a national program that is currently ranked 1st in the world, by a wide margin, after winning the 2016 Olympic gold medal in front of a sell-out home crowd in Rio; and also placed 2nd in the 2016 World League.
The Brazilian himself was a part of 3 Brazilian Olympic men’s indoor teams, including the one that took gold in Los Angeles in 1984. The team took 5th in 1980 and 4th in 1988 in his other two Olympic appearances.
“Before accepting the invitation, I spoke to Bernardo (Rezende), who is a great professional and a great friend,” Dal Zotto said. “Volleyball has developed greatly in the last two decades and we have to stay on that route. We will try to stay at the forefront of the sport with great professionals working in a highly professional structure.
“I’m very proud to have the trust of the (Brazilian Federation) President. I have been involved in volleyball for 40 years, first as a player in the national team on 13 occasions and in 2001 when Bernardo asked me to help his transition from the women’s to men’s teams.”
Dal Zotto’s national team career lasted from age 16 to 29, when he retired at 1989 after the 3 Olympic appearances and 3 FIVB world titles. Four years later, he began coaching in his native Brazil, and eventually made the jump to Italy where he was on the staff of powerhouse club Treviso when they won the 2008 Italian Super Cup.
Dal Zotto’s appointment as head coach is a promotion from Director of Selection: a role in which he served from 2015 through the Rio Olympics.