|Position:||Director of Athletics|
|Alma Mater:||Iowa State|
Saint Louis University director of athletics Chris May has guided Billiken athletics to consistent growth and a high level of success since taking the helm Jan. 30, 2008.
The mission of Saint Louis athletics under May's leadership is to deliver a program of academic and athletic excellence and engage the University community in sharing the success of Billiken student-athletes. His vision is to fully integrate SLU athletics into the Saint Louis University community through the realization of the department's three strategic objectives of education, competition and building community.
May's work has paid dividends for countless Billiken student-athletes and staff. In June 2014, he was named the NCAA-IAAA Under Armour AD of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics.
On the education front, SLU is one of the leading institutions in the Atlantic 10 Conference. Billiken student-athletes posted a historic performance in the classroom during the 2016-17 academic year. In the spring 2017 semester, SLU student-athletes registered a school-record 3.45 GPA. All 18 sports programs achieved at least a 3.0 GPA, the first time that has happened in school history. In addition, more than 80 percent of Billiken student-athletes recorded at least a 3.0 GPA.
Saint Louis University has a proud history of educating its student-athletes, and May has made it a priority to continue the emphasis on academic excellence. Saint Louis compiled a score of 91 in the latest Graduation Success Rate (GSR) data for the period of 2006-09. Five programs – men's tennis, women's soccer, softball, women's tennis and volleyball – attained perfect scores of 100.
In 2017, nearly 60 Billiken student-athletes took part in the commencement ceremonies on the SLU campus.
Under May's direction and leadership, Saint Louis' department of athletics is experiencing perhaps its most successful stretch in school history. From the hiring of additional staff to enhancing student-athlete services, May has placed Billiken athletics in a position to be successful on the national stage for years to come.
Saint Louis has appeared in 10 NCAA Tournaments during May's tenure:
- 2008 – Volleyball
- 2009 – Men's Soccer
- 2009 – Volleyball
- 2010 – Baseball
- 2012 – Men's Basketball
- 2012 – Men's Soccer
- 2013 – Men's Basketball
- 2013 – Baseball
- 2014 – Men's Basketball
- 2014 – Men's Soccer
The Billiken men's basketball had its greatest run in school history under May's guidance. From 2011-14, SLU advanced to three straight NCAA Tournaments, a school record. In March 2016, May orchestrated the hire of Travis Ford to lead the men's basketball program, and the decision immediately paid dividends on the recruiting front. SLU figures to be one of the improved teams in the 2017-18 season.
The Billiken women's basketball team has seen success like never before in recent years. Head coach Lisa Stone, who May hired in May 2012, has guided SLU to back-to-back WNIT appearances in 2016 and 2017. Those are just the second and third postseason appearances in school history.
May has directed numerous enchancements that have increased the student-athlete experience. For example, SLU student-athletes have unlimited access to a Fueling Station within Chaifetz Arena, which gives Billiken student-athletes healthy breakfast and snack options. Additionally, large investments have been made on equipment and staff in the Sports Performance and Sports Medicine departments, which benefit all 350-plus SLU student-athletes.
The track and field program was bolstered by a new facility on the medical campus under May's leadership. Additionally, an indoor hitting facility was constructed at the Billiken Sports Center for use by the SLU baseball and softball team.
Equally as impressive as the academic and athletic accomplishments is the department's strong commitment to community service that coincides with the University's mission. SLU student-athletes have stayed true to the Jesuit tradition of serving others, enthusiastically contributing thousands of service hours to numerous organizations and individuals.
May's efforts have been instrumental in the development of a local television package for men's basketball. At least 12 games a year are carried on FOX Sports Midwest in St. Louis. In addition, May spearheaded the negotiation of a radio rights agreement to carry Billiken men's basketball on the 100,000-watt 101.1 WXOS-FM/ESPN Radio, dramatically increasing the Billikens' broadcast reach in the Greater St. Louis area.
In summer 2012, May began a four-year appointment as a member of the NCAA Division I Championships/Sports Management Cabinet, a group that oversees Division I Championships and provides leadership at a national level for Division I sports programs, sports committees and sports issues committees. May's membership on the A-10's Finance Committee, Television Committee and Championships Committee is part of a department-wide involvement, as several SLU staff members hold positions on key conference committees. He also was a member of the Athletics Director Committee that participated in the process which culminated in the hiring of A-10 Commissioner Bernadette McGlade. In addition, May is active with the St. Louis Sports Commission and is a member of the Missouri Athletic Club.
May came to Saint Louis following more than 22 years of service at the University of Colorado, where he most recently was associate athletics director for external affairs. He was a leader in the “Your Team” campaign for Colorado athletics, which focused on ticket sales, fund raising and image building, and he played a major role in the $46.4 million expansion of CU's football stadium, Folsom Field. Also among May's numerous significant contributions were management of the annual Colorado-Colorado State “Rocky Mountain Showdown” football game in Denver; negotiations with corporate sponsors that culminated in an $18.1 million guaranteed contract with Learfield Sports; management of sport programs that won NCAA national championships; and participation in the management of 18 bowl appearances by the CU football team.
In addition, May was co-chair of the development and implementation of a 10-year strategic plan for CU athletics. Among his Big 12 Conference committee assignments was a stint on the league's ad hoc marketing committee, which he once chaired. He also held membership on the Metro Denver Sports Commission.
May received a bachelor of business administration degree from Iowa State University, where he was a track and field athlete, in 1985 and an MBA from the University of Colorado in 1988. He and his wife, Joanne, are the parents of Lucy, Jack and Sophia.