Texas announced on Thursday the hiring of Chris Beard as the Longhorns’ next head coach. Beard is a UT alum who started his career as a student assistant there under Tom Penders. He has been the head coach Texas Tech since 2016.
“I’m thrilled and excited to be coming back to Austin and back to the Longhorn family,” Beard said in a statement. “I can’t express how excited I am for this opportunity and the journey that lies ahead. I want to thank President Hartzell and Athletics Director Chris Del Conte for their trust. It’s time to get to work. Our top priority will be embracing our players as soon as we get to campus, and I look forward to starting this journey together towards our championship goals.”
Beard was 112-55 in five seasons at Tech and went to three NCAA Tournaments, finishing as National Runner-up in 2019. He was named AP Coach of the Year in 2019 and Big 12 Coach of the Year in both 2018 and 2019. Prior to his hiring in 2016, he spent one year as the head coach at Little Rock, going 30-5, winning the Sun Belt title and reaching the NCAA Tournament (where they upset 5-seed Purdue).
“Chris Beard is the right coach at the right time, not just for our student-athletes, but for all of Longhorn Nation,” said UT President Jay Hartzell. “Many in our community have followed his impressive career since his time here as a student assistant, and we couldn’t be more excited to have one of our own return home as an accomplished coach and leader, with the experience to help us reach new heights.”
In addition to winning 18+ games in all five seasons with the Red Raiders, Beard was 8-5 against the Longhorns and finished higher or tied with Texas in the Big 12 standings four times.
“It’s a difficult and emotional day in a lot of ways as I leave Texas Tech, a place where I’m very appreciative of not only my five years as a head coach but also my 10 years as an assistant,” Beard added. “I owe so much to Texas Tech University. From the players and their families to the administration, students, alumni, season-ticket holders and the entire Red Raider Nation, we were able to build something incredibly special and unique. We took the program to new heights TOGETHER resulting in a Big 12 Championship, a berth on Monday night in the National Championship Game, an Elite Eight appearance and three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances for the first time in school history. I am truly thankful for all the people of West Texas and their incredible support. Thank you, you have provided memories that will last a lifetime.”
Former Texas coach Shaka Smart left last month to take the Marquette job amid speculation he was on the hot seat. This past season was Smart’s best, as the Longhorns won the Big 12 Tournament for the first time ever and returned to the NCAA Tournament.
credit to Texas Athletics for the image