AUSTIN, Texas (Nexstar) – Texas has hired Texas Tech’s Chris Beard as its next head basketball coach, ending a six-day search with Bead as the top target.
Texas is Beard’s alma mater, and ha was a former UT student assistant under then basketball coach Tom Pender. He returns to Austin after five impressive seasons leading the Red Raiders. Terms of the deal were not immediately released.
“I’m thrilled and excited to be coming back to Austin and back to the Longhorn family,” Beard said. “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.”
Texas Tech’s AD Kirby Hocutt said he was frustrated when Beard left Red Raider Nation for Austin, saying he was ‘in the fight’ with Coach Beard for five years and it wasn’t over.
Tech had extended Beard’s contract by six years in 2019 after the team made it to the National Championship game against Virginia.
In his first comments since leaving Lubbock, Beard said it was a difficult decision and he was thankful for his time in Lubbock.
“It’s been a whirlwind of a day,” beard Said. “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. 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.”
Texas has been on the hunt for Beard since the departure of Coach Shaka Smart. The former Longhorn head coach announced he would be taking the same job at Marquette last week.