INA, Ill. (Oct. 24, 2019) - Coach Chris Lowery recently joined eight other individuals in the Saluki Hall of Fame Class of 2019. It is a well-deserved honor for a coach that revitalized the Saluki program.
But, little known fact, Lowery got his coaching start in James “Hummer” Waugh Gymnasium as assistant coach for Tim Wills.
Wills knew Lowery from their days at SIU. Tim was the graduate assistant with Lowery’s freshman Saluki team.
“Coaching at Rend Lake College was a great experience. It really showed me how much talent there was out there, especially at the juco level. I had remembered Tim as this laid back graduate assistant, but when I came to Rend Lake, he was fiery and enthusiastic. It was impressive to see how much he had transitioned in that short of a time. He had also developed a great relationship with the players.”
Lowery was an assistant under Wills from 1995-1997, at which time Wills prophesized “I feel very fortunate to have somebody the quality of a Chris Lowery involved with the program. If his goals are to continue in coaching, I see him moving up the ladder pretty quick.”
Lowery is pictured above (FRONT ROW, SECOND FROM LEFT) with the 1995-1996 Warriors Basketball team.
When he joined Wills at RLC, Lowery was one year removed from playing at SIUC, where the 5-foot-9 product of Evansville (IN) Harrison High School was the starting point guard every game (93) his last three seasons, helping the Salukis to a couple of Missouri Valley Conference regular-season titles and two MVC tournament crowns resulting in coveted berths in the NCAA Tournament. A dependable, four-year contributor who played in 125 games, Lowery became a member of SIUC’s 1,000-Point Club and averaged 9.8 ppg for his career, with a high of 13.1 as a sophomore.
At RLC, Lowery was in charge of Warrior preseason conditioning and helped with recruiting, in addition to on-floor practice and game instruction both seasons with Wills. RLC was 20-12 the first year behind a sophomore-dominated quintet headed by First-Team All-America Bryant Lowe.
• Lowery left the Warriors to join Coach Robert Corn’s staff at Missouri Southern for three seasons, including a 30-3, NCAA Division II-qualifying Final Four season in 1999-2000.
• He then spent one winter with Southeast Missouri State University and Coach Gary Garner before hooking on with Coach Bruce Weber’s staff at SIUC for two seasons and with Weber one season with the University of Illinois Fighting Illini before returning to Carbondale as Head Coach when Matt Painter left for Purdue University.
• Chris Lowery, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale Men’s Basketball Coach at the age of 33. He coached them to an MVC Championship and NCAA Tournament appearances in his first three seasons. He reached the Sweet 16 in 2007, losing to the #1 seed Kansas. He was the youngest head coach at the dance.
• Chris Lowery, Kansas State Associate Head Coach 2012-present.
Everyone at Rend Lake College wants to congratulate Lowery and wish him the best of luck in his coaching career.