Butch Beard

Butch Beard (born May 4, 1947)

Teams coached: Howard Bison, New Jersey Nets, Morgan State Bears
Howard record: 45-69 (.395)
Morgan State record: 39-105 (.271)
Overall record^: 84-174 (.326)

Career Accomplishments:


Coaching Career (head coach, unless noted):

2001-2006 Morgan State
1999-2000 Washington Wizards (asst)
1996-1998 Dallas Mavericks (asst)
1994-1996 New Jersey Nets
1990-1994 Howard
1988-1990 New Jersey Nets (asst)
1978-1982 New York Knicks (asst)

Butch Beard Facts

  • Alfred Beard Jr.
  • Born May 4, 1947
  • Hometown: Hardinsburg, Kentucky
  • Alma Mater: University of Louisville (BA, 1969)
  • Beard was a star athlete at Breckinridge County HS and was named Kentucky Mr. Basketball in 1965
  • Went on to play at Louisville for head coaches Peck Hickman (1966-67) and John Dromo (1967-69)
  • Spent nine years playing in the NBA for the Atlanta Hawks (1969-70), Cleveland Cavaliers (1971-72, 1975), Seattle SuperSonics (1972-73), Golden State Warriors (1973-75) and New York Knicks (1975-78)
    • His head coaches included Richie Guerin, Bill Fitch, Tom Nissalke, Bucky Buckwalter, Al Attles, Red Holzman and Willis Reed
    • Was an All-Star in 1972 with the Cavs and won a NBA title in 1975 with the Warriors
    • Missed the 1970-71 season because he was serving in the United States Army
  • Started his coaching career on Red Holzman’s staff with the Knicks in 1978 and four years later moved over to the New Jersey Nets to be an assistant under Willis Reed (and later Bill Fitch)
  • Hired in 1990 to be the head coach at Howard; went 45-69 in four seasons at the helm
    • Led the Bison to their second-ever NCAA Tournament in 1992, winning the MEAC title and being named MEAC COY
  • Left in 1994 to be the head coach of the New Jersey Nets; went 30-52 in each of his two seasons at the helm, finishing with a 60-104 overall record
    • Spent the next few seasons as an assistant in Dallas (under Jim Cleamons and Don Nelson) and Washington (under Gar Heard and Darrell Walker)
  • Spent five seasons as the head coach at Morgan State, going 39-105 overall
    • Never finished above .500 but did earn his second MEAC COY award in 2004
  • Inducted into the Louisville Athletics HOF in 1981 and the Kentucky Athletic HOF in 1988
  • Made news in 2021 when he publicly asked to have his name and accolades disassociated with the University of Louisville for a lack of “commitment to young black men” and unfair practices across all athletic programs in terms of hiring black head coaches
    • However, in 2022 he publicly voiced his support in the hiring of Kenny Payne, a UL alum, as head men’s basketball coach

Butch Beard Coaching Tree

  • Milan Brown (Holy Cross, Mount St. Mary’s)
  • Rex Walters (Grand Rapids Drive, San Francisco, Florida Atlantic)


^ overall record includes head coaching positions at the NCAA Division I level only