OXFORD, miss. – Four-time Conference Coach of the Year and 2019 National Coach of the Year, Chris Beard will bring his long-running winning streak to Oxford and the SEC as he was named 23rdapprox Ole Miss men’s head basketball coach from Vice Chancellor for Intercollegiate Athletics Keith Carter on Monday.
A public launch will be held Tuesday at 5pm CT at the Sandy and John Black Pavilion in Ole Miss. The event is open to the public and will be broadcast live The Paul Finebaum Show streamed on SEC Network and in its entirety on SEC Network+. Doors open at 4:30pm
“We are excited to welcome Coach Beard and his daughters Avery, Ella and Margo to the Ole Miss family,” Carter said. “We have thoroughly evaluated a number of outstanding candidates and there is no doubt that Coach Beard is one of the best coaches in the nation. After careful consideration and speaking to a number of people on and off the pitch, it was clear that he is the right person to lead our team to peak performance.
“At every stop in his career, Coach Beard has proven himself to be a program builder and a dynamic leader whose teams show tireless effort. He is a tireless recruiter, developing talent to reach their greatest potential. He has coached at multiple levels of college basketball and has competed for championships at every school. Simply put, Coach Beard is a winner and Ole Miss Basketball’s prime years are yet to come under his leadership.”
Beard has overseen three different NCAA tournament programs since 2016, including an appearance at the 2019 National Championship game and the Elite Eight heat the year before at Texas Tech. As head coach, he owns a 70.7 percent record of 237-98 for one of the highest winning percentages among active coaches in the nation. Beard also has a career NCAA tournament record of 11-5, highlighted by a perfect 5-0 record in the opening round.
“I am honored to join the Ole Miss family and look forward to starting at this great university,” said Beard. “I cannot express my gratitude to Chancellor Boyce, Keith Carter and the rest of the selection committee for their trust in me to lead this program. I’m really looking forward to being an active part of the Oxford community. I know we have one of the best venues in the country in the SJB Pavilion and we will work tirelessly to build a championship-level program. I can’t wait to connect with our players and recruits and start this journey together. Hotty Toddy! “
Most recently, Beard was the head coach at his alma mater, the University of Texas, where he had a 29-13 record in two years, including a 22-12 record and a second-round finish at the 2022 NCAA tournament in his freshman season. That year, all five of its starters received all-conference awards, highlighted by their defensive prowess as Texas topped the Big 12 and was nationally No. 10 in scoring defense (60.6 points per game) and No. 22 margin recorded in the country in terms of turnover (+3.4).
Prior to his tenure at Texas, Beard spent five seasons at Texas Tech, where he completed a losing season program five out of six years prior to his arrival, making them a national powerhouse. He posted a 112-55 (.671) record over five seasons and took the program to new heights with an appearance in the Elite Eight in just his second season before leading the Red Raiders to national title contention in his third year. With no postseason in his fourth year due to COVID-19, he finished his Texas Tech career with 18 wins and an appearance in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Prior to his time atop the Big 12, Beard was a season-long head coach at Little Rock, where he won 30-5, won the Sun Belt Conference title and reached the second round of the NCAA tournament. He previously served as the head coach at Angelo State for two years from 2013-2015 and as the head coach at McMurry for one season.
Beard has coached three NBA draft picks since 2018, including 16th-ranked Phoenix Suns first-round pick Zhaire Smith in 2018 and 6th-ranked Suns Lotto pick Jarrett Culver in 2019.
On the recruiting path, Beard was among the best in the country, earning top 10 class finishes in 2022, 2020, and 2018. His most recent class of 2022 in Texas was No. 8 by 247Sports and No. 8 by Rivals, with his last class at Texas Tech in 2020 receiving similar praise at No. 7 by Rivals and No. 11 by 247Sports. Prior to his 2018-19 national runner-up season at Texas Tech, his recruiting class was ranked #8 by Rivals.
After being hired as an assistant coach under Hall-of-Fame coach Bob Knight in 2001, he spent 10 seasons at Texas Tech and served as assistant head coach for three years from 2008-2011. Beard was head coach at Seminole State College in 2000-01, going 25-6. He spent last season as the head coach of Fort Scott Community College and previously spent two seasons (1997-99) as an assistant with North Texas and one (1996-97) with Abilene Christian.
Beard graduated in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology in Texas, where he also worked as a student assistant under head trainer Tom Penders. He then received his master’s degree in education from Abilene Christian University in 1998, having previously spent a year as a research assistant at Incarnate Word.
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BEARD COACHING CAREER
1995-96: Incarnate Word (Graduate Assistant), 20-9
1996-97: Abilene Christian (assistant coach), 15-12
1997-98: North Texas (assistant coach), 5-21
1998-99: North Texas (assistant coach), 4-12
1999-2000: Fort Scott CC (Head Coach), 19-12, NJCAA Regional
2000-01: Seminole State College (head coach), 25-6
2001-02: Texas Tech (assistant coach), 23-9, NCAA round of 64
2002-03: Texas Tech (assistant coach), 22-13, NIT 3approx Location
2003-04: Texas Tech (assistant coach), 23-11, NCAA round of 32
2004-05: Texas Tech (assistant coach), 22-11, NCAA Sweet 16
2005-06: Texas Tech (assistant coach), 15-17
2006-07: Texas Tech (assistant coach), 21-13, NCAA round of 64
2007-08: Texas Tech (assistant coach), 16-15
2008-09: Texas Tech (assistant head coach), 14-19
2009-10: Texas Tech (Associate Head Coach), 19-16, NIT Quarterfinals
2010-11: Texas Tech (assistant head coach), 13-19
2012-13: McMurry (head coach), 19-10, NCAA Central Regional
2013-14: Angelo State (head coach), 19-9
2014-15: Angelo State (head coach), 28-6, NCAA Division II Sweet 16
2015-16: Little Rock (head coach), 30-5, NCAA round of 32
2016-17: Texas Tech (head coach), 18-14
2017-18: Texas Tech (Head Coach), 27-10, NCAA Elite Eight
2018-19: Texas Tech (head coach), 31-7, NCAA runner-up
2019-20: Texas Tech (head coach), 18-13 (no postseason, COVID-19)
2020-21: Texas Tech (head coach), 18-11, NCAA round of 32
2021-22: Texas (head coach), 22-12, NCAA round of 32
2022-23: Texas (head coach), 7-1
BART FAST FACTS
• Directed three different programs for the NCAA tournament since 2016
• 2019 AP National Coach of the Year
• Leading Texas Tech to the 2019 National Championship Game
• Has a 70.7% win rate as head coach
• 11-5 all-time in the NCAA tournament, including a 5-0 record in opening round games
• A four-time winner of the Conference Coach of the Year award
• Top 10 nationally ranked recruiting classes by Rivals in 2022 (#8 Texas), 2020 (#7 Texas Tech), and 2018 (#8 Texas Tech).
• 2015-16 Sun Belt Regular Season and Tournament Champions at Little Rock
• Upset No. 5 Purdue in the first round of the 2016 NCAA tournament in double overtime at Little Rock
• 2018-19 Big 12 Regular Season Co-Champions