The Brazilian popularly known as Ze Maria took over as Gor Mahia coach in March of 2016. He became the most high profile person ever to become Gor Mahia coach, having played for the Brazilian national team where he won a bronze medal at the 1996 Olympics. He had also played for several top tier Brazilian sides like Flamengo, Cruzeiro and Botafogo as well as Italian sides like Inter Milan.
Ze Maria tried to install a new style of play at Kogalo wich emphasized the traditional Brazilian stye of short passes. Results were half decent but not overwhelming. He kept Gor Mahia in the KPL title chase throughout the 2016 season. However his hopes of wresting the title were derailed after Gor Mahia were deducted 3 points for hooliganism. There were also ignominious losses in the GoTV shield.
He started the 2017 season on a sound note winning the Super cup. And by mid season, Gor Mahia were at the top of the standings yet again. When Gor Mahia went to Tanzania to play in the inaugural Sportpesa Super cup, Ze Maria announced that he was going to Brazil for a week. He arrived just in time to watch his side beat arch rivals AFC 3-0 in the final. He was carried shoulder high by the players. But days later he announced his resignation from the club. He would then leave for KF Tirana in Albania where he had apparently received a better deal.