MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State associate head men’s basketball coach Chris Lowery was selected to the Southern Illinois Athletics Hall of Fame on Thursday (July 18), joining seven other individuals, in a release by athletics department officials.
Lowery, who spent time at Southern Illinois as a player (1991-94), assistant coach (2001-03) and head coach (2004-12), will be formally inducted into the university’s Hall of Fame on Friday, October 18. In those three capacities, he was part of 283 wins with a combined seven NCAA Tournaments and eight Missouri Valley Conference Championships, including conference titles and NCAA Tournament appearances in each stint.
Lowery will be joined in the Saluki Hall of Fame class by Jake Alley (baseball), Karlton Carpenter (football), Craig Coffin (football), Deke Edwards (wrestling), Kelly Gerlach Hovland (women’s golf), Deb Heyne Gross (volleyball) and Tim Kratochvil (baseball).
Lowery is the third member of the K-State Athletics staff to be named to the SIU Athletics Hall of Fame, joining women’s basketball assistant coach Chris Carr (2006) and head coach Bruce Weber (2018).
Lowery began his long association with SIU in 1990 when he started his stellar playing career for legendary head coach Rich Herrin. Known as a scrappy, hustling player, he helped lead a basketball renaissance at SIU, guiding the Salukis to an 86-37 (.699) record from 1990-94, which included a pair of MVC titles and consecutive NCAA Tournaments in 1993 and 1994. He was named Second Team All-MVC as a sophomore in 1992. In all, he scored 1,225 points and dished out 391 assists in his career.
Lowery earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education from the university in 1995.
After assistant coaching stops at Rend Lake (Ill.) College (1995-97), Missouri Southern (1997-2000) and SE Missouri State (2000-01), Lowery returned to his alma mater as an assistant coach under Weber in 2001. During his two-year stint as an assistant, he helped the Salukis to a 52-15 (.776) record and consecutive MVC regular-season titles and NCAA Tournament appearances from 2001-03.
Lowery returned to his alma mater for third time a year later when he was named the 12th head coach in school history on April 9, 2004. In his first year, the Salukis posted a 27-8 record, including a 15-3 mark in league play, and he became the youngest coach, at age 32, to ever win MVC Coach of the Year honors. The squad won the league’s regular season crown and beat Saint Mary’s in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
In 2006-07, Lowery helped SIU to its greatest season in school history, as the Salukis won a school-record 29 games and advanced to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2002. The team finished with a No. 11 ranking in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and earned its highest NCAA Tournament seed (No. 4).
During his eight-year stint (2004-12) as head coach, Lowery helped SIU to a 145-116 (.556) record with four postseason appearances, two Missouri Valley 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. He was twice named the Missouri Valley Coach of the Year (2005, 2007).
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.
Upon leaving SIU, Lowery joined the staff at K-State in 2012 and enters his eighth season as associate head coach in 2019-20. He was promoted to associate head coach on October 2, 2012.
Lowery has played an instrumental role in one of the best stretches in K-State history, which includes 150 wins, two Big 12 regular-season championships (2013 and 2019) and five NCAA Tournament appearances (2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019) in the past seven seasons. The Wildcats’ two conference titles are the second-most by a Big 12 school in that span with the 2012-13 championship the first-ever in the Big 12 era and the first conference title by the school in more than 36 seasons.
A native of Evansville, Indiana, Lowery, 47, and his wife, Erika, have three children, Lexis, C.J., and Jazmyn. The couple’s son, Kahari, passed away in November 2016.
Source: Kansas State Sports