After joining the Duke volleyball staff as an assistant coach in March 2017, Fred Chao earned a promotion to associate head coach in the summer of 2018. His primary responsibilities include student-athlete development, practice planning, scouting and game analysis while also assisiting with recruiting and scheduling.
In Chao’s first season at Duke, four newcomers joined a corps of nine returning letterwinners to lead the Blue Devils to a 19-12 (11-9 ACC) campaign in 2017. Senior outside hitter Cadie Bates secured All-ACC honors, while freshmen Payton Schwantz and Summer Brown were both tabbed to the All-ACC Freshman Team.
Chao’s resume includes over 20 years of coaching experience. He served as the head men’s volleyball coach at George Mason (1998-2015) while simultaneously working as an assistant coach with the Patriots’ women’s volleyball team (1998-2004). Prior to joining the Blue Devils, Chao spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Virginia Tech
A three-time Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA) Coach of the Year, Chao guided the George Mason men’s team to 15 consecutive EIVA Championship Tournament appearances. The Patriots advanced to the finals five times and compiled a 246-204 overall record in Chao’s tenure.
Prior to taking the helm at George Mason, Chao worked as an assistant women’s coach at the University of Maryland Baltimore County from 1997-98. In addition to his abundant collegiate coaching experience, Chao has worked diligently with youth teams and camps at the local, national and international levels. He coached some of the top boys’ players in the nation at the 2002 USA Volleyball Development Camp and was as an assistant coach with the 2005 USA Junior Men’s National Team, traveling to India for the World Championships. Chao also directed the USA Boys Development Camp and was the head coach of the USA Boys and USA Girls Youth A2 Programs.
A Silver Spring, Md., native, Chao received his bachelor’s degree in psychology with a concentration in physiological psychology from George Mason in 1994. He completed his master’s degree in educational psychology with a concentration in learning, cognition and motivation at Mason in 2014. Chao played collegiate volleyball at Pepperdine University before completing his career at George Mason.
Chao’s and his wife, Dana, have two children: daughter Keira and son Kylar.