Ole Miss To Hire Chris Beard As Head Basketball Coach, Months After Being Fired By Texas

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Former Texas coach Chris Beard is set to be officially hired by Ole Miss in the next 24 hours to lead the basketball program. The news might shock some in the college basketball world, after Beard was fired by Texas in January. But in the end, the Rebels have hired a coach they think can take them back to the NCAA Tournament, quickly.

Ole Miss announced the hiring of Chris Beard on Monday.

“We are excited to welcome Coach Beard and his daughters, Avery, Ella and Margo, to the Ole Miss family,” AD Keith Carter said. “We thoroughly evaluated a number of outstanding candidates, and there is no doubt Coach Beard is one of the top coaches in the nation. After conducting due diligence and speaking to a number of individuals on and off the court, it was evident he is the right person to guide our team to greatness. 

Turns out Chris Beard will be joining the SEC, just not with Texas, as originally planned. Beard is just three seasons removed from leading Texas Tech to a National Championship game appearance, but just two months ago a chaotic situation led to his firing at Texas.

Ole Miss administrators had been looking into the domestic violence incident that led to the arrest of Chris Beard on December 12th. The incident led to the immediate suspension of Beard, who was then fired by the Longhorns. Beard was arrested after his fiancée Randi Trew called 911 and told the responding officers that the former Texas coach hit her and choked her during the incident.

It was two weeks later that Randi Trew released a statement in which she says that Chris Beard did not choke her, also mentioning that she initiated the contact. The problem with all of this goes back to the initial police report, which Trew provided to officers, even though the DA decided on February 15th to drop the charges. One of the key factors in this was Beard’s fiancée letting it be known she did not wish for the case to continue.

Chris Beard Background Checks

Now, Ole Miss has decided that its background check on Beard is enough for them to feel comfortable with the hire. This will surely create backlash for the school, but since he was not charged, Ole Miss felt they could move forward, after speaking extensively with others during the vetting process.

Beard was in his second season of a seven-year contract with Texas when he was fired. The school decided not to bring him back, even with the DA dropping the charges. For a school to do that and have ’cause’ in their determination to fire him meant that the Longhorns were not willing to allow Beard to represent them again.

This is not the case for Ole Miss, who multiple sources told OutKick worked extensively hard looking into his past. The administration felt comfortable enough to face the backlash it would receive for bringing Beard back to a college basketball sideline so quickly.

AUSTIN, TX – DECEMBER 10: Texas Longhorns head coach Chris Beard hold a press conference after the game featuring the Texas Longhorns against the Arkansas – Pine Bluff Golden Lions on December 10, 2022 at the Moody Center in Austin, TX. (Photo by John Rivera/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

There is no doubt that Chris Beard is a winner, leading Texas Tech to the 2019 national title game. He has multiple NCAA Tournament appearances over the last six years in both Lubbock and Austin. Beard was named the 2019 AP Coach of The Year after his 31-7 record.

The Long Comeback Road For The Rebs

Now it will be his job to resurrect the Ole Miss basketball program. The team could never get going under Kermit Davis after his first season in Oxford, where his Rebels went to the NCAA Tournament. Over the next four seasons, Ole Miss struggled to find much success, deciding to fire Davis with a week to go in this season.

The newly renovated basketball arena and upgrades to facilities are a strong selling point for the Rebels. But Chris Beard will have to do a lot of explaining in the near future when it comes to recruiting. I’d imagine parents will have questions about what really went down at Texas. So it will be an uphill battle in the short-term.

Maybe Ole Miss can get its basketball program turned around, but nobody expected it would be Chris Beard to do it, just over a month ago.

Written by Trey Wallace

Trey Wallace is the host of The Trey Wallace Podcast that focuses on a mixture of sports, culture, entertainment along with his perspective on everything from College Football to the College World Series.

Wallace has been covering college sports for 15 years, starting off while attending the University of South Alabama. He’s broken some of the biggest college stories including the Florida football “Credit Card Scandal” along with the firing of Jim McElwin and Kevin Sumlin. Wallace also broke one of the biggest stories in college football in 2020 around the NCAA investigation into recruiting violations against Tennessee football head coach Jeremy Pruitt.

Wallace also appears on radio across seven different states breaking down that latest news in college sports.


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