Chris Whalley enters his eighth year at the helm of the Chowan men's soccer team.
During the 2020-21 season that was completed in the Spring semester, the Hawks posted a 7-2-1 overall record and a 4-1-1 record in league play. Whalley would put his team in position for their fourth straight Conference Carolinas semifinals appearance. The captain, Toby Sims, would become the first Chowan male athlete to be named four time First Team All-Conference. Harrison Ardron and Harri Lovett would also garner First Team selections. Lovett would earn the Conference Carolinas Statistical Champion recording seven assists. London Williams and Devontay Blair earned Third Team selections.
In 2019, Chowan posted an 11-5-1 overall record and an 8-1-1 record in Conference Carolinas play to earn the program’s first-ever Conference Carolinas Regular Season Championship. Whalley and staff would secure home-field advantage for the Conference Carolinas Men’s Soccer Championship. Toby Sims earned D2CCA Third Team All-American honors after repeating as Conference Carolinas Defensive Player of the Year. Harrison Ardron would earn the program’s first-ever Conference Carolinas Player of the Year honors. Ardron, Sims, and Trevin Myers would be named Conference Carolinas First Team. Joury den Boogert earned Second Team honors, while Sam Hall picked up a Third Team selection.
Harrison Ardron and Toby Sims earned D2CCA All-Region First Team selections, with Trevin Myers being named Second Team.
The 2018 season finished with an 11-4-2 overall record and a 7-3-0 mark in Conference Carolinas play. The Hawks would fall to #19 Limestone in double-overtime in the Conference Carolinas Championship match. During the regular season, Chowan would tie #10 Lander at home. The program would pick up their first major awards as Toby Sims earned Conference Carolinas Defensive Player of the Year and Harrison Ardron was named Conference Carolinas Freshman of the Year. The Hawks would pick up nine Conference Carolinas All-Conference selections with Toby Sims and Trevin Myers garnering First Team Honors. Denis Roule and Lee Wattam picked up Second Team, while Harrison Ardron, Harry Garstang, Mitchell Levi Lewis, Elliot Chadderton, and Djordje Novovic picked up Third Team. Sims would earn D2CCA Second Team All-Region honors. Sims and Myers would be named to the NCCSIA All-State team.
During the 2017 season, the Hawks notched the program's best season under Whalley with an 11-5-2 record and was ranked in the NCAA Regional poll, peaking at number six. The Hawks finished with a 5-3-2 record in the first season in Conference Carolinas. Chowan fell to the eventual league Champion, Limestone, in the Conference Carolinas semifinals. The Hawks garnered six to the Conference Carolinas All-Conference list including the program's first-ever First Team selection (James Scott). Whalley helped guide Josh Baker to a United Soccer Coaches Association All-Southeast Region selection.
In 2016, Whalley guided the Hawks to the third straight winning season with a 9-6-2 record with six shutouts. The Hawks posted the third most goals in program history with 40 goals during the season. The Hawks would post a 4-1-1 record at home.
Whalley notched his 100th NCAA Division II head coaching win on October 12, 2016 as the Hawks picked up a tough 1-0 win over Newberry.
During the 2015 season, Whalley saw the program reach new heights as the Hawks posted an 11-7-5 overall record. Chowan captured the NCCAA South Region Championship title for the first time in program history. The team would go unbeaten during the NCCAA National Championship tournament recording two draws.
Ben Chapman, Marco Lujan, Jamie McNicholas, and Terell Williamson were named to the NCCAA All-Tournament team. McNicholas earned NCCAA Tournament Most Valuable Player. Terell Williamson was named NCCAA South Region Player of the Year and selected as a NSCAA/Continental Tire NCCAA Division I All-American.
The Hawks earned NSCAA Team Academic Award for the second straight season.
Chris would earn his 100th career collegiate coaching win on September 21, 2015 as the Hawks picked up a 3-1 victory against Shepherd.
In his first year as head coach, Whalley guided the Hawks to a program best 12-8-0 record in the DII era. Whalley inherited a program that finished 1-14-0 the previous season. The turnaround was the best turnaround amoung Division II programs.
Whalley was awarded Independent Collegiate Athletic Association (ICAA) Coach of the Year. Terell Williamson was named ICAA Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year. In addition, the Hawks earned four ICAA Team honors, three NCCAA All-Region Team honors, three NCCAA All-Tournament honors, two Daktronics All-Region Team honors, one ICAA First Team honor, one Daktronics/Division II Conference Commissioner’s All-America Second Team honor, two NCCSIA All-State Team honors, and an NCCAA Scholar–Athlete honor.
Prior to Chowan, Whalley served as an assistant coach at Appalachian State University (DI) for two seasons. He assisted with all facets of the men’s soccer program including booster and alumni relations while guiding the Mountaineers to the SoCon quarter and semifinals in 2012.
Before his stint at Appalachian State, Whalley developed training plans and worked with elite level soccer players in Wisconsin as head coach of the FC Milwaukee Nationals of the US Development Academy.
In 2010 and 2011, Whalley was the head coach at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (DI) where he doubled the squad’s win total from the previous regime and led the team to an upset of nationally ranked Northern Illinois in 2011, marking the first win over a ranked team since 2006.
He had three student-athletes go on to receive professional contracts while the team cumulative grade point average improved to over a 3.0.
Before coaching at Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Whalley spent five seasons at Lees-McRae College. He turned a struggling men’s soccer team into a regionally and nationally recognized program. During his tenure, Whalley accumulated a 77-22-10 career record at Lees-McRae.
During the 2009 season, Whalley guided the Bobcats to a #1 National Ranking and NCAA National Runner-Up finish. The Bobcats posted an 18-3-2 record and secured a Conference Carolinas regular season championship for the third straight season. Whalley was named Conference Carolinas Coach of the Year posting an 8-1-1 record in the league.
The Bobcats suffered a 1-0 loss in the NCAA National Championship game to Fort Lewis.
In 2008, LMC posted a 17-3-3 overall record and posted an unbeaten 9-0-1 record in league play on their way to a Conference Carolinas regular season championship and won the Conference Carolinas Tournament championship. The Bobcats fell in the Southeast Region Championship during the NCAA Division II postseason.
The 2007 season was the most successful in Whalley’s coaching career as he led the Bobcats to a 21-2-1 overall record and a Conference Carolinas regular season title and tournament championship. The Bobcats made an appearance in the NCAA Division II Sweet 16. Whalley was named Conference Carolinas Coach of the Year, as well as, NSCAA Regional Coach of the Year.
The Bobcats would post 8-7-3 and 8-7-2 overall records in Whalley’s first two seasons at the helm.
His winning percentage of .780 is the best in Lees-McRae soccer history. Whalley remains ranked 5th among NCAA Division II college coaches and 23rd among all college coaches in career winning percentage. He coached 14 All-Americans and 32 All-Region players during his tenure.
In addition to his post with the Bobcats, Whalley served as the head coach of the West Virginia Chaos in the USL Premier Development League and also served as selection chairperson for Division II MLS in 2009.
Prior to his collegiate coaching days, Whalley played professionally for the Reading Rage and the United Soccer League in 2003-04.
Whalley had a successful collegiate playing career at Mercyhurst College where he helped lead the Lakers to the NCAA Division II tournament and an NCAA Final Four appearance in 2002. He was part of two GLIAC championships in 2001 and 2002 and was named First Team All-GLIAC in those same seasons.
Whalley and his wife, Alexis, reside in Suffolk, Va. with their sons, James Jack and George David.