Chris Jans brings a wealth of experience and success with college basketball into his third season with the Redbirds. In his only season at Chipola Junior College, Jans led the Indians to an impressive 32-5 overall record, 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 has accumulated a 159-45 record, in addition to winning a national championship at the age of 28.
With the Redbirds, Jans returns to Division I, an area where he also has experience. From 1999-2001, Jans was an assistant at Idaho where he served two years under head coach David Farrar.
Jans began his coaching career at NCAA Division III Elmhurst College, in Chicago, Ill., in 1992. He was an assistant coach for two seasons before taking a similar position at NAIA Grand View College, in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1994. Jans served two years at Grand View before receiving his first head coaching position at Kirkwood in 1996.
Jans played at Loras College, in Dubuque, Iowa, from 1987-1991. He was a three-year starter and captained the team his senior year. Jans helped the team to a 47-25 record while breaking 16 scoring records and two NCAA Division III records for three-point shooting. Jans graduated from Loras College in 1991 with bachelor of art degrees in both Marketing and Finance.
He is a native of Fairbank, Iowa.