TAMPA (WFLA) – University of South Florida has named Pri Piantadosi-Lima as the first head coach of the Bulls’ beach volleyball program.

A former standout professional beach volleyball player and founder of Optimum Beach, a St. Petersburg-based club program, Piantadosi-Lima was named the 2022 USAV Female Junior Coach of the Year during her work as the head coach of the USAV Beach National Team Development Program (2019-present) and also saw Optimum Beach earn 2022 USAV Beach Club of the Year honors.

“We are thrilled that Pri will lead our beach volleyball program and oversee the launch of what we expect to be a very competitive and successful new sport at USF,” said VP of Athletics, Michael Kelly. “She brings vast experience and tremendous success as a player, coach, and founder and operator of one of the most respected club programs in the country, which she built right here in the Bay Area. She has tremendous relationships both nationally and internationally in beach volleyball and is held in very high regard in that community for her passion for the sport and her ability to develop high-level competitors.”

A co-founder of the Women’s Beach Volleyball Coaches Alliance (BVWCA), Piantadosi-Lima was a standout player, earning 28 semifinal and 19 finals appearances while capturing eight US professional tournament championships. She was a six-time South American Champion (2009-11) and 2009 Continental Cup Olympic Qualifier champion while playing for Brazil and earned five Brazilian professional tournament titles among her many achievements as a player.

“My goal is to make BULLS BEACH nationally known, not only for our our athletic success but for the type of culture and character our teams will have and our success in the classroom.” said Coach Pri. “Beach volleyball opened the doors to the world for me, so I hope I can share with our players what it takes to play at the highest level while also preparing them for life outside of college with the help of all the tremendous student-athlete development resources USF has.

A 2003 graduate of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Piantadosi-Lima was inducted into UL-Lafayette’s Athletics Hall of Fame in 2019. She was a two-time All-Sun Belt selection (2001-02) and won numerous all-tournament awards while putting her name in the volleyball record books, finishing among the all-time leaders in kills, attempts and digs in Ragin’ Cajun history.

A native of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Piantadosi-Lima started playing volleyball at the age of 15 in Rio and speaks English, Portuguese and Spanish. From age 15 until 19 she played on either the runner-up or champion team in the state, claiming numerous medals in U15, U17 and U19 age groups. At the age of 16, she started playing beach volleyball as well as indoor and was undefeated with her partner in every tournament from 1997-1999.

After college, she returned to beach volleyball. In 2009, she made five AVP semifinals and one final appearance. With that breakout year, she earned the 2009 Most Improved Player Award from the AVP. From 2009-2013, Piantadosi-Lima played in the Banco do Brasil Tour, finishing every year among the top five teams and earning five tour titles and three additional finals appearances. She represented Brazil playing in the South American Tour (2009-11) and became a six-time champion.

Piantadosi-Lima was the 2009 Brazil Olympic Qualifier champion while also playing in the very first edition of the Continental Cup in 2010, getting the victory for Brazil. In 2011 she played on the FIVB Tour and was an Olympic contender for Brazil. She played on the US Beach Tours (AVP/NVL/Jose Cuervo) from 2004-20, earning eight tournament titles and posting top-five team rankings every season.

Coach Pri lives in Parrish with her wife Michelle Piantadosi-Lima who is the head coach of Eckerd College’s indoor and beach volleyball programs.