CHRIS BEARD - Texas Tech ($ 3.175 mln/year)
TITLE Head Coach
HONORS & AWARDS - TEXAS TEACH
2018-19 Big 12 Coach of the Year
2018-19 USBWA District VII Coach of the Year
2017-18 John McClendon National Coach of the Year
2017-18 NABC District 7 Coach of the Year
2017-18 USBWA District VII Coach of the Year
2017-18 Big 12 Co-Coach of the Year
HONORS & AWARDS - LITTLE ROCK
2015-16 NABC District 24 Coach of the Year
2015-16 Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year
Chris Beard enters his third season as head coach and his 13th season overall with the Texas Tech men’s basketball program. He was named the program’s 17th head coach on April 15, 2016 by Director of Athletics Kirby Hocutt and Interim University President Dr. John Opperman. Beard has now guided the Red Raiders to the Sweet 16 in back-to-back seasons for the first time in program history and to a 73-30 record in his three seasons. He was named the Big 12 Conference Coach of the Year for the second straight season and is a Naismith National Coach of the Year finalist.
Beard elevated the Red Raiders to an elite level of success following a 27-10 record and the program’s first NCAA Elite Eight trip in 2017-18. The 27 wins are the second-highest in program history only behind the 30-2 mark put together by the 1995-96 team under James Dickey. He came away as the 2018 Big 12 Co-Coach of the Year, the 2018 National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) District 8 Coach of the Year, the 2018 United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) District VII Coach of the Year and the 2018 John McClendon National Coach of the Year award recipient.
Texas Tech garnered a program-best No. 6 final ranking in the USA Today/Coaches Top 25 poll. The Red Raiders checked in as a consensus Top 15 program for the final 10 weeks of the regular season highlighted by six Top 10 rankings. The 1995-96 season was the only other time the program was ranked among the nation’s Top 10.
Texas Tech earned a program-best second place finish in the Big 12 regular season and set a program single season mark with 11 Big 12 wins. The Red Raiders registered the program’s first victory at Allen Fieldhouse during a wire-to-wire 85-73 win over No. 10 Kansas on Jan. 8, 2018, the largest conference home loss for the Jayhawks under Bill Self.
Texas Tech racked up a nation’s best and program single season record eight victories over Associated Press Top 25 opponents in 2017-18. The Red Raiders knocked off No. 2 West Virginia 72-71 on Jan. 13, 2018 which matched the program’s best win rankings-wise as Texas Tech defeated No. 2 SMU 64-63 on Jan. 26, 1985 under Gerald Myers. Texas Tech also defeated No. 23 Florida and No. 11 Purdue before falling short to eventual national champion and No. 2 Villanova in the 2018 NCAA Tournament.
The Red Raiders played host to ESPN’s College GameDay for the first time in program history on Feb. 24, 2018. The one-hour show hosted by Rece Davis, Jay Bilas, Seth Greenberg and Jay Williams aired live from the United Supermarkets Arena.
Beard agreed to a six-year, $19.05 million dollar contract in March 2018 that locks him up as Texas Tech’s head coach through the 2023-24 season. The Red Raiders have seen a significant increase in season ticket sales under Beard, and the program’s average attendance surged to over 10,000 fans per game in 2017-18 for the first time dating back to 2006-07.
Over his first two seasons in Lubbock, Beard has captured 45 victories which is tied with Bob Knight for the most wins in program history for a coach during their first two seasons. He has already picked up 11 wins over AP Top 25 opponents, the second-highest total for a head coach in program history and shattering the program’s record during a two-year span. Beard also has been a part of 13 of Texas Tech’s 20 wins over AP Top 10 foes as either a head coach or an assistant coach.
Beard has either coached and/or recruited 15 of Texas Tech’s 20 All-Big 12 selections highlighted by seven of the 10 players listed on the first, second and third teams in program history. Keenan Evans was named Texas Tech’s first All-Big 12 First-Team pick since Jarrius Jackson in 2006-07. He took his game to another level in 2017-18 and became the third player in program history to claim consensus All-America status from the AP, NABC, Sporting News and USBWA. Evans also was a Top 10 finalist for the Bob Cousy Award, a Top 15 finalist for the Wooden Award and a Top 10 semifinalist for the Naismith Trophy.
Zhaire Smith and Jarrett Culver finished the 2017-18 season ranked first and second on the program’s scoring list among freshmen. Smith was the program’s first one-and-done NBA prospect and program’s second NBA Draft First Round selection. He was chosen No. 16 overall by the Phoenix Suns and traded to the Philadelphia 76ers as part of a draft night trade. Evans has signed a two-way contract with the Detroit Pistons, while Zach Smith has earned a training camp invite by the Charlotte Hornets. The last time the Red Raiders had three players on NBA rosters during the same season was in 2004-05 when Tony Battie was with the Orlando Magic, Andre Emmett was with the Memphis Grizzlies and Darvin Ham was with the Detroit Pistons.
Texas Tech’s defense allowed 64.8 points per game and limited opponents to a 40.1 shooting percentage to pace the Big 12 conference in 2017-18. It marked the first time in program history that the Red Raiders ended the season as the Big 12 leader and both marks ranked inside the NCAA’s Top 20. Offensively, Texas Tech has connected for over a 46.0 percent team field goal percentage during consecutive seasons for the first time since 2003-04 and 2004-05.
Texas Tech has had six seasons with a winning record in Big 12 conference play, five of which came when Beard was an assistant coach. The Red Raiders also have recorded five of their six top half finishes in the Big 12 during Beard’s time as an assistant coach.
Beard’s 17 wins in Big 12 play are more than Baylor’s Scott Drew, Oklahoma’s Lon Kruger, TCU’s Jamie Dixon, Texas’ Shaka Smart and West Virginia’s Bob Huggins during their first two seasons as Big 12 head coaches at their respective schools.
Beard guided Little Rock to a historic turnaround in 2015-16 fueled by 30 victories, which was a program single season record and Sun Belt single season mark. The Trojans claimed the Sun Belt regular season and tournament titles en route to the program's fifth NCAA Tournament bid.
Little Rock overcame a 14-point deficit during the final five minutes of the second half and won an 85-83 double overtime thriller over No. 12-ranked and fifth-seeded Purdue in the NCAA Tournament. The Trojans also registered road victories over San Diego State, Tulsa and DePaul to spark a 10-0 regular season start. The 10-game winning streak to start the season matched a Little Rock program record.
Beard's 30-5 record in his only season at Little Rock was a 15-game improvement from a 13-18 campaign prior to his arrival. The 15-game improvement was tied for the NCAA's top spot in 2015-16, while his 30 victories was tied for sixth by a first-year Division I head coach. Little Rock's 27 wins and .871 winning percentage led the nation during the regular season. For his efforts, Beard collected National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) District 24 and Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year honors.
Beard has amassed a 216-74 record, a .745 winning percentage and 24.0 victories per season over his nine seasons as a head coach. His wealth of coaching experience stretches from the NCAA Division I, NCAA Division II, NAIA and Junior College levels. His previous head coaching stops include Fort Scott Community College, Seminole State College, McMurry University, Angelo State, Little Rock and UNLV.
Beard's roots in Lubbock and West Texas run deep. He spent 10 years at Texas Tech which included seven seasons as an assistant coach under Hall of Fame Coach Bob Knight and three seasons as an associate head coach under Pat Knight. He was on the Texas Tech bench on January 1, 2007, when the Red Raiders defeated New Mexico making Bob Knight the NCAA’s men’s all-time career wins leader.
The Red Raiders racked up 188 victories -- the best 10-year stretch in program history -- while Tech piled up four NCAA Tournament bids and three NIT appearances. His tenure with the Red Raiders was highlighted by Tech's run to the 2005 NCAA Sweet 16 where the Red Raiders defeated UCLA and No. 11-ranked and three-seeded Gonzaga in the first two rounds.
Beard spent two seasons at Angelo State from 2013-15 where he secured NABC South Central Region and Lone Star Conference Coach of the Year after he guided the Rams to a program record-setting 28 wins and the program's first NCAA Division II Sweet 16 appearance in 2014-15. Angelo State began the season with a 17-0 record and finished with a No. 19 national ranking. Prior to Beard's arrival, the Rams suffered three consecutive losing seasons which included a 9-17 mark in 2012-13.
Before Angelo State, Beard was the head coach at McMurry University and for the American Basketball Association's (ABA) South Carolina Warriors. McMurry went 19-10 with Beard at the helm during the program's first season as a Division II member in 2012-13. The Warriors won the 2012 Mid Atlantic Championship, advanced to the ABA finals and notched a 31-2 mark as a first-year franchise.
Raised in Irving, Texas, Beard's coaching career began in the Lone Star State as a graduate assistant at Incarnate Ward followed by a pair of assistant coaching stints at Abilene Christian and North Texas. He worked under the guidance of Danny Kasper at UIW, Shanon Hays at ACU and Vic Trilli at UNT.
Leading into his time as an assistant with Texas Tech, Beard's first two head coaching opportunities came at Fort Scott Community College in Kansas and Seminole State College in Oklahoma. He led Seminole State College to a 25-6 record and a No. 14 national ranking in 2000-01 after Fort Scott came away with 19 victories and a NJCAA Regional appearance in 1999-2000.
Beard earned his Bachelor of Science degree in kinesiology from the University of Texas in 1995 where he worked as a student assistant for Tom Penders. He completed his master’s degree in education from Abilene Christian in 1998.
Beard played his high school basketball for Mike Kunstadt at Irving High School and for Terry Priest at McCullough High School. He has three daughters: Avery, Ella and Margo.
The Chris Beard File
Season, School, Position
1995-96, Incarnate Ward, Graduate Assistant
1996-97, Abilene Christian, Assistant Coach
1997-99, North Texas, Assistant Coach
1999-2000, Fort Scott Community College, Head Coach
2000-01, Seminole State College, Head Coach
2001-11, Texas Tech, Assistant Coach/Associate Head Coach
2011-12, South Carolina Warriors (ABA), Head Coach
2012-13, McMurry University, Head Coach
2013-15, Angelo State University, Head Coach
2015-16, Little Rock, Head Coach
2016-Present, Texas Tech, Head Coach
Beard's Head Coaching Record
Season, School, Record
1999-2000, Fort Scott Community College, 19-12
2000-01, Seminole State College, 25-6
2011-12, South Carolina Warriors (ABA), 31-2
2012-13, McMurry University. 19-10
2013-15, Angelo State University, 47-15
2015-16, Little Rock, 30-5
2016-18, Texas Tech, 73-30
Texas Tech Record, 3 Seasons, 73-30
NCAA Division I Record, 4 Seasons, 103-35
NCAA Record, 7 Seasons, 169-60
Career Record, 10 Seasons, 244-80
*Updated on March 26, 2019