Chris Beard is out as the men’s head basketball coach of the Texas Longhorns after allegedly assaulting a family member in Dec. Beard has been fired for cause, according to multiple sources. Texas has confirmed the decision to fire Beard.
Beard is facing a felony domestic family violence charge for an incident involving his fiancée. Beard had been suspended without pay since he was arrested.
Beard was in his second season as Texas’ head coach. The Longhorns are currently ranked No. 6 in AP Poll after a 12-1 start. Beard hasn’t coached the team since the allegations first emerged on Dec. 12. Rodney Terry has been Texas’ interim coach since Beard has been away from the team. Terry will remain Texas’ head coach for the remainder of the season.
Texas AD Chris Del Conte put out the following statement after confirming Beard has been fired.
Beard originally signed a seven-year contract with Texas that included a clause that he could be fired if charged with a felony. The strangulation/suffocation family violence charge brought against Beard carries a possible sentence of 2-10 years in prison. Beard’s fiancée initially told police the coach strangled and bit her, but later denied being choked.
Here’s how the AP summed up the initial police report:
Beard’s fiancée, Randi Trew, told officers he choked her from behind, bit her and hit her when the two got in an argument. Beard’s attorney has said the coach is innocent.
Beard will not be entitled to any salary or buyout money on the $35 million contract he originally signed.
The school had the right to fire Beard for cause even without a conviction, as the university’s attorney laid out after the arrest.
UT's VP of Legal Affairs Jim Davis wrote in a letter to Beard's attorney Perry Minton:— Bob Ballou (@BobBallouSports) January 5, 2023
"Chris Beard engaged in unacceptable behavior that makes him unfit to serve as head
coach at our university."
He adds:— Bob Ballou (@BobBallouSports) January 5, 2023
"Our evaluation of Mr. Beard's fitness for service is not contingent on whether he is also convicted of a particular crime or whether those charges are dismissed at some point."
Beard’s lawyers are reportedly ‘shocked’ at the school’s decision to fire him, but they shouldn’t be. Beard was reportedly given the option to resign or be fired.
We’ll update this story as it develops.