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USU volleyball: Aggies add Craig Choate as volunteer coach

By Doug Hoffman

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, July 10 2013 5:35 p.m. MDT

LOGAN, Utah - Utah State volleyball head coach Grayson DuBose announced Wednesday that Craig Choate has been added to the Aggies' coaching staff as a volunteer assistant coach.

"We are excited that Craig has decided to join our staff as a volunteer coach. Our goal is to always surround our players with the best coaching possible and Craig definitely brings that to our gym. He is a great compliment to our already wonderful staff. He has a lot of experience and we are looking forward to having him in the gym this fall," DuBose said.

Choate comes to USU after retiring at Northern Arizona where he posted a 72-60 record during his five years at the helm of the Lumberjacks' program. He has 22 years of head coaching experience with an overall career record of 345-316.

"I'm very grateful for the opportunity to come to Utah State and that Grayson was kind enough to let me come up and help out with the team. I'm really looking forward to it," Choate said.

Under Chaote, the 2012 NAU squad posted a 24-7 record, recording the best winning percentage (.774) and the second most wins in a season in program history. Choate coached nine all-Big Sky Conference honorees, as well as three Big Sky Conference Outstanding Freshman Award winners and two all-Big Sky Conference Tournament selections.

Prior to NAU, Choate was an assistant coach for the men's volleyball team at Pepperdine University. Before Pepperdine, Chaote was the head women's volleyball coach at San Jose State.

Choate compiled a record of 244-191 in his time at San Jose State including five 20-win seasons. He is the program's all-time leader in victories, as well as longest tenure and most matches coached. Under his leadership, SJSU appeared in the NCAA Tournament three times and advanced to the second round in 2001, as well as earning SJSU's first national ranking in over 10 years.

Choate's 1999 team finished with a record of 25-6, and Choate was named the Western Athletic Conference Coach of the Year that season. His San Jose State squads finished second in the WAC regular season three times and advanced to the championship match of the WAC Tournament in 2001 and 2003. In 1994, the Spartans won 23 matches and finished second at the National Invitational Volleyball Championship.

Prior to his long stint at SJSU, Choate was the head women's coach at New Mexico State for three years (1990-92). His other coaching experience includes another year as an assistant men's coach at Pepperdine in 1990 as well as assistant coaching positions with the BYU and Cal Poly women's programs.

As a player, Choate won silver medals at the 1999, 2002, 2003 and 2004 USA Open Volleyball Championships in Atlanta. He participated in the 1981 USVBA senior men's division open championships and received All-American honors. He played club volleyball as a student at BYU.

Choate was an assistant coach at the Olympic Festival in 1994 and 1995. He holds memberships in the AVCA, the USAV and has a CAP III coaching certification.

Choate, a native of Los Angeles, graduated from BYU in 1978 with a degree in physical education. He also earned a master's degree in physical education in 1982 and a second undergraduate degree in history in 1984, both from BYU.

The 2012 Western Athletic Conference regular-season champion Aggies return four starters, who were also all-WAC honorees, from last season's squad that posted a milestone season with a 21-9 record. Utah State won its first-ever WAC regular-season title to go with its 2010 WAC Tournament championship in its eighth and final season in the league before joining the Mountain West Conference this season.

Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.

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