Texas Longhorns fire basketball coach after domestic assault allegation
Chris Beard was fired as head coach of the University of Texas men’s basketball team on Thursday, weeks after he was arrested on felony domestic violence charges in Austin.
The university’s vice president and athletic director Chris Del Conte said in a statement Thursday that the university has made the decision to terminate Beard’s contract, effective immediately.
Beard, 49, was suspended without pay on Dec. 12 and charged with assault on a family or household member by obstruction of respiration, according to the Travis County Sheriff’s Office. Beard posted a $10,000 cash bond and was released from jail the day of his arrest.
Rodney Terry, the team’s associate head coach, has been serving as the acting head coach of the Texas Longhorns men’s basketball team since Beard was suspended. Del Conte said Terry would finish the season as the team’s acting head coach.
Del Conte said, “It has been a difficult situation that we are working diligently.”
The Austin Police Department said officers responded to a call about a disturbance at a home in Austin on December 12 at approximately 12:15 a.m. The caller told police that the disturbance had ended and that a person in the home had left, the police said in a statement. When the police reached the house, a woman told them that Beard had assaulted her and strangled her.
Beard’s attorney, Perry Minton, said in a statement Thursday that Beard was “crushed by the news that he will not be coaching at the University of Texas.”
Minton said, “At the outset of Coach Beard’s suspension, the university promised that they would conduct an independent investigation surrounding the allegations and only after doing so would make a decision regarding his employment.” “They proceeded to eliminate Coach Beard without asking him or his fiancée a single question.”
The university declined to comment on its investigation.
A few days after Beard’s arrest, Beard’s fiancée Randi Trew said in a statement that her attorney shared with The Associated Press that the two had a “physical struggle” after she broke his glasses in “frustration”. Beard, he said, “don’t strangle me.”
“Chris has said he was acting in self-defense, and I don’t refute that,” he said. “I do not believe Chris was in any way intentionally trying to harm me. It was never my intention to arrest or prosecute him,” Beard’s attorney Minton wrote in a letter Thursday to the university’s vice president of legal affairs. told James Davis that the offer “came as a shock.”
Minton said in the letter, “With this, I want to be on record as emphatically stating, and to memorialize here, that Coach Beard did nothing to violate any provision of his contract with the University of Texas.” Have done.” “He was arrested, then his fiancee retracted his earlier statement.”
The Texas Longhorns named Beard head coach in April 2021, after spending five seasons as the head coach of the men’s basketball team at Texas Tech University, leading him to the NCAA national championship game in 2019.
Prior to coaching the Longhorns, Beard was the head coach of the men’s basketball teams at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock; Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas; McMurry University in Abilene, Texas; Seminole State College in Seminole, Okla.; and Fort Scott Community College in Fort Scott, Kan. Beard received a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology, the study of human motion, from the University of Texas in 1995.