Chris Jans completed his 21st season as a collegiate basketball coach, and his sixth at Wichita State in spectacular fashion during the 2012-13 season as the Shockers advanced to the Final Four in Atlanta, Ga. Promoted to Associate Head Coach at Wichita State in 2011-12, his coaching resume also includes six seasons as a head coach.
In 2012-13, a Final Four appearance by the Shockers topped a six-year reconstruction at Wichita State during Jans' tenure under Head Coach Gregg Marshall. En route, WSU defeated Pittsburgh, Gonzaga, La Salle, and Ohio State before losing to eventual National Champion Louisville in the National Semifinal game in Atlanta. The voters in the USA Today Coaches poll rewarded the Shockers with a final No. 4 ranking, their highest final ranking ever.
Jans has also been Marshall's right-hand-man during the richest four-year stretch in WSU history as the Shockers have won a record 111 games. Jans' assistance also helped Gregg Marshall earn the Valley's Coach-of-the-Year award in 2012 and 2013, while his coaching knowledge helped the Shockers earn the Valley's Defensive Team of the Year in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
The back-to-back NCAA appearances in 2012 and 2013 were the first for the school since 1987 and 1988, the first in 24 years, while WSU's 2012 Missouri Valley Conference championship was the first since 2006.
Entering the 2012-13 season, the Shockers had the best two-season record in WSU history after taking WSU back to the NCAA postseason for the first time since 2006, while also winning the 2011 NIT Postseason Tournament with a 5-0 record that included a finals trip to Madison Square Garden where WSU defeated Washington State and Alabama.
The reconstruction brought WSU from 11 wins Jans' first season to a school-record 30 wins in 2013 that ended with the Final Four trip, the second for the Shockers, but the first in 48 years.
Jans assisted the Shockers to the 2012 NCAA Tournament in Portland, Ore., where WSU lost to VCU in the Second/Third Round game.
Marshall and Jans' 2009-10 team also played in the postseason NIT, received votes in the AP poll and advanced to the MVC Tournament title game, while the 2009-10 team played in the CBI.
He came to WSU from Illinois State where he was assistant coach for three seasons under former head coach Porter Moser. Prior to his stint at ISU, Jans led Chipola [Fla.] Junior College to an impressive 32-5 overall record in one season, its first Panhandle Conference Championship in 10 years with an 11-1 record, its first FCCAA State Championship in 16 years and a sixth-place finish at the NJCAA National Tournament.
Prior to Chipola, Jans served two years as the head coach at Howard College in Big Spring, Texas. He guided Howard to an overall record of 29-4 in 2003. The Hawks finished the regular season with a national ranking of No. 15, after climbing as high as No. 2 earlier in the year. In 2002, he led the Hawks to an overall record of 20-10. During the 1998-99 season, he was the head coach at Independence Community College, guiding the Pirates to a 22-10 record and a second-place finish in the Kansas Jayhawk Eastern Division with a 14-4 mark.
Jans received his first head coaching position at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in July of 1996. Inheriting a team that finished 11-20 the previous season, the Eagles more than doubled their wins, finishing 25-10 and earning Jans the Region XI Coach of the Year award. Kirkwood won both the conference and regional championship in addition to qualifying for the NJCAA Division II National Tournament, a first for the Kirkwood program. Building off the momentum of his first season, Jans led Kirkwood to another conference and regional championship in his second season before claiming the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) National Championship. Kirkwood finished the season 31-6, while Jans was awarded both the Region XI Coach of the Year and the NJCAA National Coach of the Year awards.
In his six seasons as a head coach, Jans accumulated a 159-45 record, in addition to winning a national championship at the age of 28. With Illinois State, Jans returned to Division I, an area where he also had experience. From 1999-2001, Jans was an assistant at Idaho where he served two years under head coach David Farrar. He began his coaching career as an assistant coach at NCAA Division III Elmhurst College, in Chicago, Ill., in 1992. Following his time in Chicago, he took a similar position at NAIA Grand View College in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1994, before receiving his first head coaching position at Kirkwood in 1996.
Jans played at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, from 1987-1991, where he was a three-year starter and captained the team his senior year. While there, he helped the team to a 47-25 record while breaking 16 scoring records and two NCAA Division III records for three-point shooting. A 1991 graduate of Loras College, he earned a bachelor of art degrees in both marketing and finance. He hails from Fairbank, Iowa, and he and his wife, Sheri, reside in the Wichita area with children Nick and Maddie Gazda.