Chao steps down as George Mason head coach

The second longest tenured coach in the EIVA is leaving his head coaching position.

George Mason announced on Thursday that Fred Chao has resigned after 17 seasons as the team’s head coach.



“I’m extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to coach at George Mason,” Chao said in a statement. “I’m proud of the respect that our program has garnered from the university and nationally. I am proud of the men [and women] I have coached and I’m confident they will make this world a better place.”

Chao was a three-time EIVA Coach of the Year recipient and compiled a 246-204 career record with the Patriots. The former Pepperdine and George Mason player also led the Patriots to 15 consecutive appearances in the EIVA Tournament.

George Mason last season reached the EIVA Tournament championship — the fifth time under Chao that the Patriots advanced to the conference title match. In addition, the Patriots received votes in the season’s final national coaches poll and had three players earn all-conference honors.

“Fred did an excellent job leading the men’s volleyball program at Mason,” George Mason athletics director Brad Edwards said in a statement. “He built a level of sustainable success with his teams competing at a national level. We appreciate all that he did for the program, the student-athletes and the university.”

This is the eighth head coach opening in college men’s volleyball so far this off-season.

George Mason will return a majority of starters for the upcoming season, including setter Brian Negron who was named the 2015 EIVA Newcomer of the Year.