Former Southern Illinois coach Chris Lowery is in his second season as associate head coach at Kansas State after being the first hire by head coach Bruce Weber on April 5, 2012. He was promoted to associate head coach on October 2, 2012
A veteran coach with more than 18 years of college coaching experience, Lowery proved instrumental in one of the best seasons in K-State history in 2012-13, as the Wildcats posted a 27-8 overall record and a 14-4 mark in league play en route to their first-ever Big 12 regular-season championship and a fourth consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament. The 27 wins were the second-most in school history, while the 14 in league play tied the school record held by the 1958-59 team. It was the 20th league championship in school history and the first since the 1976-77 season.
Lowery also helped coach three players - Rodney McGruder (first team), Angel Rodriguez (second team) and Shane Southwell (honorable mention) - named to the 2013 Coaches' All-Big 12 Team. It marked just the third time in school history that three Wildcats appeared on an all-conference team in the same year, while McGruder became just the third Wildcat in the Big 12 era to earn first team all-league accolades. Rodriguez was also named to the Coaches' All-Defensive Team. An honorable mention AP All-American, McGruder ranked among the Top 10 in four statistical categories in the Big 12, including fourth in scoring (15.6 ppg.).
Lowery is in his third stint as a member of Weber's staff after having served as his assistant coach at Southern Illinois (2001-03), Illinois (2003-04) and now, K-State. During this period, the duo have helped the three schools to a combined 105-30 (.778) record, including a 57-13 (.814) mark in conference play, with four NCAA Tournament appearances, including trips to the Sweet 16 in 2002 and 2004.
Lowery arrived at K-State after an eight-year stint (2004-12) as the head coach at his alma mater, Southern Illinois, where he posted a 145-116 (.556) record with four postseason appearances, two Missouri Valley Conference Championships and one State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Tournament title. His teams averaged 18.1 wins over his tenure, including three 20-win seasons, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament on three occasions (2005, 2006, 2007), including a 2007 trip to the Sweet 16. Lowery was twice named the Missouri Valley Coach of the Year (2005, 2007). He finished his tenure with the fourth-most wins in school history.
Lowery coached two AP honorable mention All-Americans at SIU, including Darren Brooks in 2005 and Jamaal Tatum in 2007. In addition, his players earned numerous Missouri Valley honors, including two Players of the Year (Brooks and Tatum), four Defensive Players of the Year (Brooks, Randal Falker, Bryan Mullins twice), two Freshmen of the Year (Mullins and Kevin Dillard) and one Sixth Man Award (Tony Young). He coached 12 all-conference players, including five first-team selections, to go with 10 MVC All-Defensive Team honorees, five All-Freshmen picks and four All-Newcomer and Most Improved Team members.
Lowery began his coaching career at Rend Lake College in Ina, Ill., in 1995, where he helped the Warriors to a 20-win season. He followed with stints at Missouri Southern (1997-2000) and SE Missouri State (2000-01) before returning to his alma mater as an assistant to Weber, helping the Salukis to a 52-15 (.776) record from 2001-03 with back-to-back Missouri Valley Conference titles and consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament. He followed Weber to Illinois in 2003-04, where he helped the Illini to a 26-7 record and a trip to the Sweet 16. Illinois also captured its first outright Big Ten regular season title in more than 52 years, as Lowery helped coach current NBA players Deron Williams, Dee Brown, Roger Powell and Luther Head.
After a one-year stint at Illinois, Lowery returned to his alma mater as the 12th head coach at Southern Illinois on April 9, 2004. In his first year, SIU posted a 27-8 record, including a 15-3 mark in MVC play, and Lowery became the youngest coach, at the age 32, to ever win Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year honors. The Salukis won the MVC regular season crown and beat Saint Mary's in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. In 2006-07, he helped SIU to its greatest season in school history, as the team won a school-record 29 games and advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2006-07. The squad finished with a No. 11 ranking in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and earned its highest NCAA Tournament seed (No. 4).
Lowery was a standout player for legendary Saluki coach Rich Herrin from 1990-94. Known as a scrappy, hustling player, he helped lead a basketball renaissance at SIU, guiding the Salukis to consecutive NCAA Tournaments in 1993 and 1994. He helped the school to an 86-37 mark during his playing career, including four postseason appearances and two Missouri Valley Conference titles. He scored 1,225 points and dished out 391 assists in his career. He earned a bachelor's degree in physical education from the university in 1995.
Lowery also has some international coaching experience with USA Basketball, serving as an assistant with the U-19 team who won the gold medal at the 2009 World Championships. He coached alongside Pittsburgh's Jamie Dixon and Purdue's Matt Painter for a squad that included current NBA players Gordon Heyward, Shelvin Mack, Trey Thompkins, Klay Thompson, Tyshawn Taylor and Kemba Walker.
A native of Evansville, Ind., Lowery, 41, was born on July 7, 1972 and attended Harrison (Ind.) High School. He and wife, Erika, have four children, Lexis, C.J., Kahari and Jazmyn.