Chris Tinius, the 2015 Great Lakes Valley Conference Coach of the Year and NSCAA Midwest Region Coach of the Year, was hired as the head coach of the Bellarmine University women's soccer team in June of 2014 after having a standout tenure assisting at Division I Western Kentucky University, where he helped lead the Hilltoppers to multiple championships.
Tinius will enter his fifth season in 2018.
In 2017, Tinius guided Bellarmine to its third DII NCAA Tournament appearance in four years, where the Knights romped 3-0 over No. 20 Ohio Valley in the opening round. Tinius' squad developed into an elite defensive unit, finishing third in the nation in goals-against average (.381) while setting a single-season program record for fewest goals allowed (eight) and shutouts (13). Senior goalkeeper Taylor Smith became Tinius' second All-American at Bellarmine following Mary Beth Gorham in 2015.
In 2016, Tinius led Bellarmine to yet another double-digit win season. The Knights went 11-3-4 and made their ninth straight appearance in the GLVC Tournament. In addition, four players made the All-GLVC team and Olivia Taylor earned Freshman of the Year accolades.
In only his second season at Bellarmine, Tinius guided the Knights to their first-ever appearance in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament following their first GLVC regular-season championship. In addition, he led BU to program records in overall wins (17), GLVC winning percentage (86.7) and unbeaten streak (13) while tying the program record for GLVC victories (12). For his efforts, which included overseeing the development of the program's first first-team All-American and first GLVC Offensive Player of the Year in Gorham, Tinius was named the GLVC Coach of the Year and the Midwest Region Coach of the Year.
His first season overseeing the Knights was a smashing success. In 2014, Tinius guided BU to a 14-4-3 overall record and the program's fourth appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Once there, Bellarmine defeated Michigan Tech to advance to the Midwest Region semifinals. In addition, the Knights went 11-1-3 in the GLVC and finished in second place while gaining the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament.
Behind Tinius' leadership in 2014, Bellarmine set program records for fewest losses in GLVC play (one) and longest unbeaten streak (12) while going unbeaten on the road during the regular season for the first time in program history. The team tallied the second-most victories in BU history both overall and in GLVC play. The Knights also tied the record for most All-GLVC selections with six and placed four on the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-Midwest Region teams.
For his part, Tinius had the winningest season of any first-year coach at Bellarmine while becoming the first to lead the Knights into the NCAA Tournament in his debut year. BU's offense ranked in the top four in program history for goals scored and the defense was a top-10 unit for fewest goals allowed.
In seven seasons as an assistant and associate head coach at WKU, Tinius helped lead the Hilltoppers to a combined record of 87-32-23 with a pair of regular-season Sun Belt Conference Championships. Six of those teams earned "Academic All-American Team" awards from the NSCAA.
Tinius is originally from Bowling Green, where he played on the WKU men's soccer team from 1999-02 and helped the Bowling Green High School soccer team to two state runner-up finishes. In 2005, he was a graduate assistant coach at Troy, where he helped the squad qualify for its first-ever conference tournament berth.
The following year, Tinius joined the coaching staff at Georgia Southern, where he was responsible for recruiting, monitoring academics and on-field coaching. He helped the Eagles more than double their win total from 2005 and qualify for their first conference tournament since 2002. GSU upset No. 2 seed Davidson in the first round of the Southern Conference Tournament, advancing to the semifinals for the first time since 2001.
Tinius resides in Louisville with his wife, Ashley, and son, Wesley.