Positively Promoting the Student Athlete Since 1992



MISHAWAKA, Ind. – Christopher Hess, women’s golf head coach at Bethel University, has announced his plan to step down from coaching at the end of the 2018-19 academic year to focus on his administrative responsibilities in his new role of Associate Athletic Director for Bethel.


“Chris exemplifies the Bethel University work culture value of humble excellence,” stated Athletic Director Tom Visker. “He has developed a nationally-recognized women’s golf program through his commitment to his student-athletes and a tireless work ethic. Chris has also faithfully represented BU in leadership both in the NAIA and NCCAA. I’m grateful for Chris’s leadership of the women’s golf program and in our department.”


“”What an amazing 25 years it’s been for me and my family here at Bethel!” described Hess. “God has blessed me with the opportunity to coach along some incredible men in Mike Lightfoot and Jody Martinez, who impacted my life in so many ways!”


Hess, a 1994 graduate of Bethel, began his coaching career with the men’s basketball program as an assistant coach and junior varsity head coach. From 1994-99, Hess compiled a record of 70-17 with the junior varsity program and helped the varsity with their three NAIA national championships and one NAIA runner-up finish, as well as an NCCAA National Championship in 2000.


After also assisting the men’s golf program for two years, Hess was named the men’s golf head coach in 1996. Over the next 17 seasons, Hess compiled a record of 1,422-458 with 37 tournament titles. His accolades include a Crossroads League championship, two Crossroads League Coach of the Year awards, 16 trips to the NCCAA National Championship, and 7 trips to the NAIA National Championship from 1996-2013.


In 2005, Hess joined the women’s basketball coaching staff as an assistant and helped the Pilots to three NCCAA National Championships in 2006, 2010, and 2011, to go along with five trips to the NAIA National Tournament.


Hess was named the women’s golf head coach in 2011. He compiled a record of 636-183 with 52 tournament titles. His accolades include two Crossroads League Championships, two Crossroads League Coach of the Year awards, four NCCAA North Central Regional Championships, four NCCAA North Central Region Coach of the Year awards, and made 7 trips to the NAIA National Championship and 8 trips to the NCCAA National Championship.


In all, Hess has made 52 trips to national tournaments (36 as a head coach, 16 as an assistant coach) and has coached 6 NAIA All-Americans, 2 NCCAA All-Americans, 27 NAIA Scholar Athletes, and 23 NCCAA Scholar Athletes. In addition, he has served as the NCCAA Women’s Golf National Chair for the past five years.


“I’ve been so fortunate to be a part of programs that have had such great success on the court and the course but even more everlasting victories away from the competition,” continued Hess. “To watch young men and women grow in their walk with Jesus Christ has been the greatest blessing of all! Coaches do impact their players, but my life has surely been impacted in such a powerful way by so many of my players!


“I’ll always be a “coach” but am excited to serve this department and our student-athletes as we strive for excellence in all things. The character and culture of this University is what makes us special and the best is yet to come!”


The Pilots have already selected the next head coach for the women’s golf program and will be introducing the new coach next week.