AUSTIN (KXAN) — Chris Beard’s arrival at Texas not only serves as the culmination of an incredible career that has skyrocketed in the past six years, it’s also a homecoming of sorts as he returns to where his coaching career started.
While he was a student at the University of Texas, Beard served as a student assistant under Tom Penders before he graduated. That helped launch a coaching career that’s seen him serve as an assistant under both Bob Knight and Danny Kaspar and serve as a head coach at nearly every level of basketball.
Here’s a look at his career from his time as a student assistant to now as he’s set to become the Longhorns’ next head coach.
Chris Beard’s Coaching Career
1991-1995 – University of Texas (Student assistant) — Beard graduated from the University of Texas in 1995 where he was a student assistant under Tom Penders.
1995-1996 – Incarnate Word (Graduate assistant) — Once he graduated from UT, Beard became a graduate assistant at Incarnate Word in San Antonio, where Danny Kaspar was the head coach. Kaspar went on to coach at Stephen F. Austin and Texas State.
1996-1997 – Abilene Christian (Assistant coach) — Beard spent one season at ACU under Shanon Hays. Beard got his master’s degree from Abilene Christian in 1998.
1997-1999 – North Texas (Assistant coach) — His two seasons in Denton helped launch his head coaching career. Once he was done working under Vic Trilli, Beard finally took over his own program
1999-2000 – Fort Scott Community College (Head coach) — Beard’s first taste as a head coach came in the basketball-crazed state of Kansas. In his lone season with Fort Scott, he led the program to 19 wins and a National Junior College Athletic Association regional appearance. It was the Greyhounds first winning season in seven years.
2000-2001 – Seminole State Junior College (Head coach) — After just one season in Fort Scott, Beard accepted the head coaching job at Seminole State in Oklahoma. According to The Oklahoman, Beard can thank Bill Self for landing this job. While Self was at Oral Roberts, he told Seminole State athletic director Rusty Beene about a guy who basically turned Fort Scott around overnight. That helped convince Beene to interview and eventually hire Beard. In his lone season with the Trojans, he led them to a 25-6 record, reaching as high as No. 14 in the NJCAA national rankings. His time at Seminole helped launch him into big-time college basketball
2001-2011 – Texas Tech (Assistant coach/Associate head coach) — Legendary coach Bob Knight gave Beard his big break when he brought him to Lubbock as an assistant. Beard spent seven seasons under The General, and three under Pat Knight, Bob’s son, as associate head coach. In Beard and Knight’s second season in Lubbock, Texas Tech made its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament in six years. Two seasons later, Beard helped Tech make a run to the round of 32. In 2005, the Red Raiders made it all the way to the Sweet 16. They were one and done in 2007. In all, Beard was part of 188 wins in 10 years as an assistant in Lubbock. It marked the best decade of basketball success in school history until his return.
2011-2012 – South Carolina Warriors (Head coach) — After Beard left Tech following the firing of Pat Knight, he had his only stop in the professional ranks when he spent one season as the coach of the South Carolina Warriors of the ABA in their first year as a franchise. His lone season in Myrtle Beach was a resounding success. The Warriors went 29-0 through the regular season and playoffs, before getting swept, 2-0, in the ABA Finals. After that season, Beard left to rejoin the college ranks.
2012-2013 – McMurry (Head coach) — Beard returned to college and to Texas when he took over at McMurry University in Abilene. In his lone season with the War Hawks, which was also their first year playing Division II, he led them to a 19-10 record, including a 10-8 mark in the Heartland Conference. McMurry made the NCAA Tournament before they lost in the third round of the NCAA Central Region Tournament.
2013-2015 – Angelo State (Head coach) — After one season in Abilene, Beard stayed in West Texas, but moved to San Angelo where he was head coach at Angelo State. In two seasons in the Pearl of the Concho Valley, the Rams went 47-15 and were 28-2 at home. In his second year with ASU, Angelo State posted a program-record 28 wins, an undefeated 17-0 home record, a run to the Sweet 16 of the DII NCAA Tournament and a No. 19 final ranking. Beard led a quick turnaround in his first season with the Rams, taking a team that had three straight losing seasons and leading them to a 19-9 record.
2015-16 – Arkansas-Little Rock (Head coach) — Beard’s first stop as a head coach in D1 quickly turned him into a national darling in basketball circles. At UALR, he took a program coming off back-to-back losing seasons and turned the Trojans into Sun Belt regular season champs, Sun Belt tournament champs and led them to a win in the NCAA Tournament, taking down Purdue, 85-83, in overtime. They finished the year with a 30-5 record.
2016 – UNLV (Head coach) — This is often a forgotten stop in Beard’s coaching ascent. And for good reason. After his one season with Little Rock, he took the head coaching job at UNLV. And then he quickly left after less than three weeks on the job for Texas Tech.
2016-2021 – Texas Tech (Head coach) — Just as his arrival at Texas is a return home for Beard, so, too, was his return to the South Plains, where he spent 10 years as an assistant. At Tech, he replaced Tubby Smith, who had helped turn the Red Raiders around and led them to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since Beard was an assistant. Of course, Beard’s success at Tech is well-known at this point, which is why he got the Texas job. He led the Red Raiders to a 112-55 record in five seasons. They played for the national championship in 2019, where they lost to Virginia in overtime. They had another run to the Elite Eight. This year, they made it three straight tournament appearances. He also developed two straight consensus All-Americans in Keenan Evans and Jarrett Culver.