Chris Watkins was named the Associate Head Coach of the women's soccer program on March 27, 2013. Watkins has been a member of the BYU coaching staff since 1996, when he brought impressive credentials from both the professional and collegiate realms to Provo. As a BYU assistant coach, Watkins has helped coach Rockwood guide the Cougars to 17 trips to the NCAA Tournament, earning a No. 1 seed in 2012 — the program’s highest seed ever.
Watkins' technical knowledge has helped guide the BYU women's soccer team to NCAA tournament appearances in 17 of the last 19 years, including a No. 5 finish in 2003 and 2012.
When Watkins was hired in 1996, he brought impressive credentials, both professional and collegiate, to a young but talented Cougar squad. He played four years for the semi-professional Salt Lake City Flamengo team (1992-95). Watkins was also the Gatorade Player of the Year in his home state of Kansas. Most recently, he played for the Utah Blitzz in 2002, scoring the golden goal to win the Western Conference.
During college, he played NCAA Division I soccer at Drake University and held the single-season scoring record there. He later graduated from BYU.
Watkins also coached the BYU men's soccer team for 21 years from 1995-2015, compiling an overall record of 304-103-75. The men's soccer team dominated the Collegiate Club Soccer Championships for the past decade, having won National Championships in 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2001, including an unprecedented run of 30 straight victories at the Club National Championships. The team has represented the university by traveling internationally to Spain, Holland, Mexico, Costa Rica, Chile and Fiji.
Seeking a more competitive environment, Watkins was the driving force behind BYU's decision to move from collegiate club to semi-pro status in 2003. BYU purchased a Premier Development League franchise, becoming the first university sponsored soccer program to ever acquire a franchise that competes at a level considered higher than NCAA soccer. The team competed in the USL Premier Development League where it reached the Final Eight twice. Under Watkins, the Cougars are the only university to participate in the U.S. Open Cup which they have done three times.
Chris and his wife Karen live in Provo with their sons Drake, Ethan and Tanner.