As the longest tenured Liberty League coach, Chris Downs begins his 22nd season at the helm of the St. Lawrence University men’s basketball program. Downs, who is St. Lawrence’s all-time winningest coach has amassed more than 300 career wins while on the sidelines for the Saints. He has led the team to the two highest single-season win totals in the school's history - 23 (2007) and 24 (1998) as well as guiding them to multiple NCAA Tournaments with appearances in the Elite 8 and Sweet 16. The Saints have made 15 post-season appearances in Downs’ time on campus.
Downs has also developed his players to be some of the strongest on both a regional and national level. He has coached 17 1,000-point scorers, eight All-East Region selections, two National All-Americans, five conference Rookies of the Year, three conference Players of the Year and over 40 all-conference players.
Downs has earned many accolades for his work with the men's basketball team; he has been named Conference Coach of the Year four times, was twice named the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) East Region Coach of the Year and twice named the New Balance - Basketball Coaches Association of New York (BCANY) Men's College Division Coach of the Year.
In addition to coaching, Downs is also a member of the NABC Division III All -America Committee who along with eight other coaches from around the country help decides the regional and national All-America selections.
Downs is the 15th coach in the modern era of St. Lawrence basketball and was named the head coach at 27 years old, after working alongside Division I head coaches Scott Hicks (Loyola College) and Dave Paulsen (George Mason). The Saints program currently has an all-time record of 1146-883 dating back to 1922.
A 1992 graduate of Oneonta State, Downs earned his bachelor's degree in elementary education and was an All-SUNYAC basketball selection his senior year. He and his wife Tonki reside in Canton and have two sons, Andy and Christopher, and a daughter Winnie.