In 14 seasons at Oklahoma, Restrepo was responsible for the most successful era in program history. The Sooners compiled a 242-189 record in his 14 seasons with 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. Restrepo is a former Big 12 and Regional Coach of the Year and was recognized as 2006 National Coach of the Year.
Oklahoma’s sixth consecutive appearance in the postseason came on the back of a 20-11 record, highlighted by a road-win at No. 2 Texas to snap the Longhorns’ 34-match home win streak. A trifecta of Sooners became only the second trio to earn All-America Honorable Mention at the end of one season in OU history.
During his tenure, 14 Oklahoma student-athletes earned All-America honors from the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) and the organization recognized another 10 Sooners with all-region accolades. The Big 12 Conference chose 29 OU players as all-conference selections and eight rookies earned a spot on the conference’s all-freshman team.
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 became the program’s first Academic All-American in 2010 after being named to the CoSIDA third team.
One of the most successful seasons in the program’s history came during the 2006 campaign as OU achieved in the biggest turnaround in Big 12 history. That year, Restrepo guided the Sooners to their first-ever win over Texas and the team advanced to the NCAA Championship third round for just the second time ever. Oklahoma finished the year ranked No. 12 in the final AVCA, its highest in history. Behind Restrepo’s leadership, the Sooners recorded the best winning percentage in school history with a 28-6 (.824) record and finished second in the Big 12 with a 17-3 mark. All five seniors on the 2006 team earned All-Big 12 recognition.
After his time at OU, Restrepo became the head coach at Oklahoma City University. In his lone season at OCU, Restrepo guided the Stars to a 31-6 record and an appearance in the NAIA Championships. Restrepo 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.
The following season, 2019, Restrepo took over as the head coach for Arkansas State. Success found Restrepo’s team early with a 3-1 win over Southland Conference champion and NCAA Tournament participant Stephen F. Austin, handing the Ladyjacks one of their two losses on the year. Restrepo’s tenure elevated the play of several of the A-State players. Restrepo’s decision to move Timber Terrell from middle blocker to right-side hitter proved to be a strong one, as it led to Terrell being named Second-Team All-Sun Belt Conference. Madison Brown emerged as one of the top offensive threats in the conference en route to being A-State’s first, First Team All-Sun Belt honoree since 2017. The Red Wolves were among the nation’s best at the net, led by middle blocker Kendahl Davenport, who was named Second Team All-SBC to become the program’s first middle to earn all-league honors since 2015. As a team, the Scarlet and Black posted incredible numbers, ranking seventh nationally in blocks per set (2.86). Tatum Ticknor also found success under Restrepo, ranking nationally in total digs (8th) and digs per set (4th) and was named Sun Belt Conference Libero of the year in 2021.
Prior to his time in Oklahoma, Restrepo spent three seasons as head coach at Southern Miss. In Restrepo’s final season at Southern Miss, he led his 2003 team to a program-best 27-6 record and was named Conference USA Coach of the Year.
That squad reeled off three winning streaks of at least six matches, including one eight-win string, the longest in school history. Three Golden Eagle players garnered All-Conference USA honors during Restrepo’s three-year tenure, including two in his final season. He left Southern Miss with a record of 52-40 (.565).
Perhaps the most remarkable part of the Golden Eagles’ 27-win season is that it came just two years after a nine-win campaign. The 2001 team went 9-19 and finished 11th in C-USA. One recruiting class later, his 2002 team improved to 16-15 and finished the conference season in eighth.
Ahead of his tenure at Southern Miss, Restrepo served three seasons (1998-2000) as an assistant coach at Saint Louis University under Marilyn Nolen. Restrepo brought a tough training regimen to the Billiken program in 1998, and his dedication and work sparked an immediate improvement.
Saint Louis posted its fourth best single-season winning percentage in school history at 21-7 (.750) during the 1998 season. In 2000, he helped the Billikens to 23 victories, the most since 1996.
Restrepo served as the women’s head coach at East Stroudsburg (Pa.) University from 1994-97. He led the Warriors to a 21-11 record and a semifinal finish in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) in his first season in the league. East Stroudsburg posted its best record in school history with a 32-2 mark in 1996. For his team’s efforts, Restrepo was named PSAC Coach of the Year. During his tenure, he led ESU to a 75-32 (.735) overall record.
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. Restrepo was also inducted into the EIVA Hall of Fame in 2015.
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.
He earned a 3A player rating on the AVP tour and had the opportunity to play against some of the giants of professional beach volleyball, including Karch Kiraly, Sinjin Smith, Randy Stoklos and Kent Steffes.
Highly involved with USA Volleyball and internationally, Restrepo served as co-head coach of one of two USA Volleyball under-22 select teams that toured Argentina in June 2005 and 2006. He was head coach of USA Volleyball’s A2 junior national team during its summer 2011 international tour.
Restrepo and his wife, Heidi Nichols, have two sons, Diego Ignacio and Javier Santiago. Restrepo’s youngest son, Javier Santiago, passed away from leukemia in July 2009 at the age of four. To find out what you can do to help promote childhood cancer awareness, visit The Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center.