|Position:||Assistant to the Head Coach|
Chris Tifft recently completed his third season as Assistant to the Head Coach for the Billikens' program.
2018-19 proved to be a breakout season for Saint Louis, seeing the Billikens win 23 games, capture the Atlantic 10 Tournament Championship and qualify for the NCAA Tournament.
Over the past three seasons, Tifft has helped the Billikens pick up marquee wins over such programs as Virginia Tech, Butler, Seton Hall and Oregon State. He has also assisted in the development of Atlantic 10 All-Conference performers Javon Bess (Defensive POY; 2ndTeam) and Hasahn French (All-Defensive Team; 3rdTeam).
Tifft came to Saint Louis in 2016, following four seasons as a member of the men’s basketball staff at TCU, including the final two as an assistant coach.
“We are excited to bring someone with Chris’ experience onto our staff,” Ford said when announcing Tifft's hire. “He has been a successful head coach and has experience at various levels. He knows what I’m going through on a day to day basis, and having him here to help me with the daily operations of our program is going to be crucial. Chris is going to be a great asset to our program.”
While at TCU, Tifft aided in the Horned Frogs’ transition to the Big 12 Conference in 2012-13. That season saw the program record four wins over teams that advanced to postseason play, including a 62-55 decision over No. 5 Kansas, the school's first-ever victory against a top-five opponent. During the 2014-15 season Tifft helped the Horned Frogs to a 13-0 start and a No. 25 ranking in the Associated Press Top 25, their first Top 25 ranking since 1999. Tifft also helped lead the Horned Frogs to a 3-0 record in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge with wins over Tennessee, Ole Miss and Mississippi State.
In 2013, Tifft helped the Horned Frogs land their best recruiting class in history, a group rated by ESPN as the 34th best class in the nation. Tifft was instrumental in recruiting Kenrich Williams to Fort Worth. Williams concluded his three year career at TCU with 34 double-doubles, while finishing fourth all-time in program history in rebounds and steals. Williams was named the 2015 Corpus Christi Coastal Classic Most Valuable Player, the 2017 Emerald Coast Classic Most Outstanding Player and the 2017 NIT Most Outstanding Player. Williams is currently on the active roster of the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans.
Tifft also landed NJCAA All-American and 2015 NJCAA National Freshman of the Year, Malique Trent. Trent was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Week in February of 2016 and averaged 11.6 points per game during his first season with the Horned Frogs.
While at TCU, Tifft worked closely with Big 12 All-Conference selections Williams (2ndTeam), Vladimir Brodziansky (2ndTeam) and Kyan Anderson (HM).
Before arriving at TCU in 2012, Tifft spent three seasons as the head coach at New Mexico Junior College in Hobbs, N.M. Tifft led the Thunderbirds to 58 wins in his three seasons in Hobbs, improving the win total in each of his three seasons (2009-2012). The Thunderbirds concluded the 2011-12 season with a 23-9 record and a second place finish in the Western Junior College Athletic Conference, the program’s best finish in 14 seasons. The 2011-12 Thunderbird team reached the semifinal round of the NJCAA Region V tournament, losing to the eventual undefeated national champions.
In just three seasons at New Mexico Junior College, Tifft coached and/or recruited one NJCAA All-American, one NJCAA Academic All-American, two All-Region performers and six All-Conference selections.
Prior to NMJC, Tifft led Lamar Community College (Col.) to a 100-62 record in five seasons as head coach (2004-2009). From 2007-2009, the Runnin' Lopes posted three consecutive 20-win seasons for the first time since 1969. Tifft was named the 2009 District 9 Coach of the Year after leading the program to its first ever Region IX championship and first ever appearance in the NJCAA National Tournament in Hutchinson, Kan. Lamar concluded the 2009 NJCAA National Tournament with a 3-1 record and Fifth-Place showing, while finishing the season 28-10 overall.
During his time at Lamar, Tifft coached one NJCAA All-American, three NJCAA Academic All-Americans and three All-Region selections.
Tifft’s coaching career began at his alma mater, the University of Nevada. While at Nevada, Tifft worked as an assistant on the staffs of both Pat Foster and Trent Johnson. The Wolf Pack’s 1997 squad won 21 games and participated in the post-season NIT, winning a first-round game over Fresno State. The 1997 team also featured the Big West Conference Player of the Year, Faron Hand. During his five years at Nevada, Tifft coached seven All-Conference selections and helped the Wolf Pack transition from the Big West Conference to the WAC.
Tifft also spent three seasons as an assistant coach to Brian Hoberecht at Dodge City Community College (2001-2004) where he coached and/or recruited eight All-Conference performers.
Tifft began his collegiate playing career at Three Rivers Community College in Poplar Bluff, Mo. While at Three Rivers CC, Tifft helped lead his 1993-94 team to a 33-5 record, a Region XVI championship, and an appearance in the NJCAA National Championship game. During his time at Three Rivers, Tifft played for the winningest coach in the history of college basketball, Gene Bess, who currently has 1,281 career wins.
After leaving Three Rivers, Tifft continued his collegiate playing career at the University of Nevada in Reno. Over two seasons, the Wolf Pack won 34 games and made an appearance in the Big West Tournament Championship game in 1995.
Tifft earned a bachelor’s degree in geography from the University of Nevada in 1996 and a master’s degree in secondary education from the University of Nevada in 1999. Originally from Macomb, Ill., Tifft is married to the former Heather Davis of Carson City, Nev. The couple has a 12 year old daughter, Kamryn.