AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas will hire Texas Tech’s Chris Beard as its next head basketball coach, ending a six-day search with Beard as the top target, according to two reports.
Jeff Goodman of Stadium was first to report the news. Jon Rothstein of CBS News quickly followed with his own report. Goodman and Rothstein also correctly broke the story on Shaka Smart’s decision to leave Texas.
Texas is Beard’s alma mater, and he was a former University of Texas student assistant under then basketball coach Tom Penders. He returns to Austin after five impressive seasons leading the Red Raiders. Terms of the deal were not immediately released.
This was the move that Texas was compelled to make given Beard’s success in the Big 12 and connections to the program and the state.
Texas Tech has been preparing for several years to fight off advances for Beard from the Longhorns or other potential suitors across the country, but the situation changed this week when Smart left Texas for Marquette.
Tech leadership extended Beard’s contract by six years after the 2019 season and raised his buyout. However, the contract buyout number dropped to $ 4 million on Thursday, allowing the Longhorns to negotiate at a lower number.
Beard nearly took Texas Tech to the top of college basketball, losing the 2019 national championship game to Virginia in overtime. Texas Tech has reached the NCAA Tournament three times in four opportunities under Beard, advancing past the first round in all three trips. In 2018, the Red Raiders lost to eventual national champion Villanova in the Elite Eight round. This season, Tech lost to Arkansas by two in the round of 32.
The Red Raiders shared the regular season conference championship with Kansas State in 2019 and finished top-three in the Big 12 standings three times.
Beard finished with a 112-55 record at Texas Tech. He’s 142-60 (.702 winning percentage) in six seasons at the Division I level. In one season at Little Rock, Beard led the Trojans to the 2015-16 Sun Belt Conference championship and an upset of Purdue in the first round of NCAA Tournament.
Coaching history of Chris Beard
Beard spent most of a 25-year coaching career in the state of Texas with stops at seven Texas universities. The Woodlands High School graduate got his start as a student assistant with the Texas Longhorns in the ’90s. He graduated from UT in 1995.
From there, Beard was a graduate assistant at Incarnate Word in San Antonio and Abilene Christian, where he earned a graduate degree. Beard got his start as an assistant coach at the University of North Texas. After three seasons with the Mean Green, he became a head coach in the junior college ranks, leaving the state of Texas for the first time during his coaching career.
Beard quickly came back to the Lone Star State, working as an assistant under Bob Knight and Pat Knight at Texas Tech. Beard’s first stint in Lubbock lasted 10 years.
After a one-year head coaching run with the American Basketball Association’s South Carolina Warriors, Beard came back to Texas, leading McMurry University in Abilene for one year and Angelo State for two seasons, going to the NCAA Division II tournament in his second season with the Rams.
In 2015, Beard moved to the Division I level at Arkansas-Little Rock where he won Sun Belt Coach of the Year as the Trojans swept the conference championships. In the 2019 national runner-up season at Texas Tech, Beard was named the Associated Press’ Coach of the Year.
Beard hasn’t finished with a losing record in any of his 12 seasons as head coach.
- ^ first to report the news (twitter.com)
- ^ quickly followed with his own report (twitter.com)
- ^ @Stadium (twitter.com)
- ^ April 1, 2021 (twitter.com)
- ^ READ MORE: Marquette introduces Shaka Smart as head basketball coach — why he says he left Texas (www.kxan.com)
- ^ when Smart left Texas for Marquette. (www.kxan.com)
- ^ Lubbock restaurants offer Chris Beard free food for life to stay at Texas Tech (www.kxan.com)