LUBBOCK, Texas (Nexstar) – Texas Tech Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt is expected to address Chris Beard’s departure this afternoon.

Speculation has grown around Beard and a potential return to the University of Texas since the Longhorns announced the departure of their head coach Shaka Smart. Lubbock has rallied in an attempt to keep their head coach.

Some local businesses even offered him free food for life if he decided to stick with the Red Raiders. Those hopes were dashed Thursday morning after Texas Tech confirmed their head coach was headed to Austin.

While it isn’t the ending many in Lubbock had hoped for, Beard has left a lasting mark on the program. In five seasons with the Red Raiders, Beard led the team to three NCAA Tournaments, with a runner-up finish in 2019, and a 112-55 overall record.