Prior to a one-year stint as the head coach coach at Bowling Green that came to an end in early April as a result of an incident at a Bowling Green restaurant, Chris Jans was a member of Gregg Marshall’s coaching staff at Wichita State from 2007-14. During those seven seasons Jans was a key figure as the Shockers made the progression to a respected national power.
Jans is back in Wichita, with Paul Suellentrop of the Wichita Eagle reporting Thursday that he’s serving as a consultant to the program. Jans’ consulting agreement runs for 45 days, which the school can renew, and he’ll be paid $10,000 for the work. While Jans isn’t allowed to do any coaching, he can watch practices and provide Marshall and the coaching staff with his observations.
“He will be able to consult with the coaching staff, only on what he observes in practice,” said Darron Boatright, WSU deputy athletics director. “By NCAA rule, a consultant is not allowed to have communication with student-athletes … not about basketball-related activities or performance.”
While Jans (who according to the story has served in a similar role for another school) can’t do any coaching in this role, his return does give Marshall another trusted voice to call upon when needed. Wichita State bid farewell to an assistant coach this spring with Steve Forbes being hired as the head coach at East Tennessee State, with his position being filled by former Sunrise Christian Academy coach Kyle Lindsted.
Chris Jans’ first season at the helm at Bowling Green was a successful one as he led the Falcons to 21 wins and a spot in the CIT, which was the program’s first postseason appearance since 2012. However his time at the school came to an abrupt end in early April, as the school announced that Jans had been fired for inappropriate behavior after becoming intoxicated at a bar.
A video of the incident that became public shortly after Jans’ firing showed him harassing a female patron at the bar.
Friday afternoon Jans issued a statement on the matter, his first public comments since being relieved of his duties, according to Eric Prisbell of USA Today. Jans apologized for his actions while also thanking Bowling Green for the opportunity to lead their basketball program.
“On March 21st I made a mistake for which I sincerely apologize. After our final loss of the season I went to a bar to be amongst friends, became intoxicated and proceeded to act in a manner which was inappropriate. I have tried to instill in every student I’ve coached the importance of taking responsibility for one’s actions, and that is what I am trying to do now.
“I have been completely forthcoming and honest with the Bowling Green State University administration during this process. I immediately made efforts to apologize to those offended that evening including the woman who approached me that night to chastise me for my conduct. Although I have already apologized to my wife, my family, my players and coaches, I want to now publicly apologize to everyone else, including any one in the BGSU community who may have been affected by this matter — I am truly sorry.
“Finally, I want to thank BGSU for giving me the opportunity to be its head basketball coach. I plan to use the future months and years to improve myself as an individual and to show them that their faith in me as a coach, and a person, was not unwarranted.”
While the school continues its search for a new head coach, assistant Mark Downey has served as the interim head coach. Whoever the new head coach is, they’ll have to account for the loss of the team’s top two scorers as Richaun Holmes (14.7 ppg) and Jehvon Clarke (10.7 ppg) were both seniors.
Bowling Green announced on Thursday that they have fired men’s basketball coach Chris Jans.
Jans had his contract terminated after the school investigated “his recent public conduct” and determined that he “failed to meet his obligations” as the coach at BGSU.
Assistant coach Mark Downey has been named the interim head coach.
Jans was in his first season with the Falcons, going 21-12. He’s a former assistant at Wichita State that would have been in play to replace Gregg Marshall had Marshall left.
After being a member of Gregg Marshall’s staff for the last seven seasons, serving as associate head coach from 2011-14, Chris Jans made the move to Bowling Green with the MAC school hopeful that a change in direction would lead to better results. Last season the Falcons finished 12-20, with their longest win streak of the season being three games (which occurred twice).
Sunday afternoon the Falcons moved to 4-0 on the season, winning at Detroit 64-63. After a Juwan Howard Jr. jumper gave the Titans a one-point lead with just under three seconds remaining Spencer Parker found Richaun Holmes, who split two defenders and made the game-winning layup as time expired.
Video credit: Jordan Strack