Chris Jans enters his 20th season as a collegiate basketball coach, and his fifth at Wichita State heading into the 2011-12 season, which inludes six seasons as a head coach.
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.
Chris 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.