Keylor Chan, a five-time NCAA Tournament head coach, is entering his fourth full season at Samford University and his 21st at the helm of a highly-successful Division I program. In his first three seasons at Samford, Chan has led the program to two Southern Conference Tournament titles and two NCAA Tournament appearances. In 2018, the Bulldogs knocked off top-seeded ETSU, 3-1, to win the SoCon Tournament and earn the program's second NCAA appearances in the last three years. In the NCAA Tournament, the Bulldogs traveled to Los Angeles to take on national power USC. The team finished the season with a record of 19-15 overall and 11-5 in SoCon play.
In his first season with the Bulldogs in 2016, Chan immediately provided a positive impact on the squad as he guided Samford to a thrilling Southern Conference Tournament championship title and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. In the 2016 NCAA Tournament, the Bulldogs squared off against No. 4-ranked Kansas in the opening round of competition. Samford finished the 2016 campaign with a 21-14 overall record and a 9-7 mark in SoCon play. Under Chan’s guidance, Samford proved to be dominant at home last season and compiled a 14-3 record when competing on campus. The Bulldogs hosted the 2016 SoCon Tournament in the Pete Hanna Center and rallied for three straight victories against Wofford, 3-0, ETSU, 3-0, and Chattanooga, 3-1, en route to the championship title. Samford closed out its 2016 campaign with 21 wins, a total that ranks tied for fifth all-time in school history. The Bulldogs also concluded the 2016 campaign as the 10th-ranked squad in the nation in team kills (1,693) and No. 14 in the country in team assists (1,570). In 2016, All-SoCon performer, Erin Bognar, set the school’s single-season record in kills (553). She also finished the year ranked No. 10 in the nation in total kills (542), 12th in points (580), 13th in total attacks (1,399) and 17th in kills per set (4.48). The Bulldogs concluded Chan’s inaugural season at the helm with the school’s sixth-best winning percentage in 39 years of the program’s existence. This season, the Bulldogs will return sophomore outside hitter, Kelsi Hobbs, who earned SoCon All-Freshman Team honors in 2016.
On Feb. 17, 2016, Samford director of athletics Martin Newton and Senior Associate AD Michelle Durban announced Chan as the volleyball program's eighth head coach. Chan came to Samford after having a substantial and successful 15 years as the head coach of Big Ten member Northwestern University. Chan's teams at Northwestern recorded four NCAA Tournament appearances (2002, 2003, 2005, 2010) including the program's first two tournament wins (2005, 2010). With his experience, he hopes to continue to build on Samford's winning traditions. Through the years at Northwestern, Chan not only led his teams to multiple NCAA Tournament appearances but kept his program in the nation's Top 50 RPI in 2005, 2006, 2010 and 2012, and finished in the Top 25 in 2010.
The team success achieved throughout his career was fueled by four All-Americans, nine All-Region players, eight All-Big Ten selections and five Freshmen All-Big Ten honors. Although it has been several years, Chan is no stranger to SoCon volleyball as he served as the head coach at Furman University during the 1999 season before advancing to Northwestern. While at Furman he increased the program's RPI by 22 points and took the Paladins to the championship match of the SoCon Tournament. Chan's commitment to excellence extends well off the court as his players have achieved a 100 percent graduation rate which includes 111 Academic All-Big Ten players, three Academic All-District honorees and a team GPA of 3.2 or higher over his 15 years. The squad also received the highest team GPA at Northwestern in 2010, 2013 and 2014.