Ole Miss hires Chris Beard as next men’s basketball head coach
OXFORD, Miss. — Ole Miss has hired Chris Beard as the Rebels’ next men’s basketball head coach as announced in a statement released by the university Monday morning.
Beard replaces Kermit Davis who mutually parted ways with the Rebels February 24 after serving as head coach for five seasons. Davis finished with a 74-79 record while in Oxford. Assistant coach Win Case served as the interim head coach for Ole Miss and led the Rebels to a first-round win over South Carolina in the SEC tournament.
“We are excited to welcome Coach Beard and his daughters, Avery, Ella and Margo, to the Ole Miss family,” Vice Chancellor for Intercollegiate Athletics Keith Carter said.
“We thoroughly evaluated a number of outstanding candidates, and there is no doubt Coach Beard is one of the top coaches in the nation. After conducting due diligence and speaking to a number of individuals on and off the court, it was evident he is the right person to guide our team to greatness.
“At each stop in his career, Coach Beard has proven to be a program builder and a dynamic leader whose teams exhibit relentless effort. He is a tireless recruiter and develops 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 best years are ahead of us under his leadership.“
A public introduction will take place Tuesday at 5 p.m. CT at the Sandy and John Black Pavilion at Ole Miss. The event will be open to the public and featured live on The Paul Finebaum Show on SEC Network and streamed in its entirety on SEC Network+. Doors open at 4:30 p.m.
The Beard File
Beard has had success at each school for whom he has coached. Since 2016, has led three different teams — Little Rock, Texas Tech and Texas — to the NCAA tournament.
“I am honored to be joining the Ole Miss family and excited to get started at this great university,” Beard said in the statement.
“I can’t express how grateful I am to Chancellor Boyce, Keith Carter and the rest of the search committee for their belief in me to lead this program. I am 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 are going to work tirelessly to build a championship caliber program. I can’t wait to connect with our players and recruits and begin this journey together. Hotty Toddy!“
New Ole Miss head coach Chris Beard
While in Lubbock from 2016-2021, Beard amassed a 112-55 record. He took the Red Raiders to the tournament three times, with a 2018 trip to the Elite 8, and later the national title game in 2019.
In April, 2021, Texas hired Beard and he finished his first season with the Longhorn’s sitting at 22-12, reaching the Round of 32 in NCAA postseason.
In December, 2022, the Horns were rolling at 7-1 with wins over Creighton and Gonzaga, then each a top-10 team.
But on January 5, 2023, Beard was dismissed with cause stemming from charges of third-degree domestic violence, charges since-dropped by the Travis County (Texas) District Attorney. The case was dismissed last month.
Following the dismissal, Beard commented publicly on the situation.
“I am pleased with the announcement that the charges against me have been dismissed,” Beard said. “While I always had faith and confidence in the truth and this outcome, it has been extremely challenging to wait patiently and not publicly respond. I’m sorry and deeply remorseful to my family, friends, all my players and staff both most recent and past, and everyone at my alma mater, The University of Texas,” he added.
Beard’s recruiting prowess
Beard is an accomplished recruiter who could handle the transfer portal with ease. He attracted former Iowa State guard and Big Ten Freshman of the Year Tyrese Hunter to Austin to play for the Longhorns after his outstanding initial season with the Cyclones.
At Texas this season, three of Beard’s top five scorers were transfer players — to go along with two five-star high school recruits he signed in the 2022 class.
Before being dismissed from Texas, Beard had commits from two five-stars and his 2023 Longhorns’ recruiting class sat at No. 3 in the nation.
Evelyn has covered sports for over two decades, beginning her journalism career as a sports writer for a newspaper in Austin, Texas. She attended Texas A&M and majored in English. Evelyn’s love for Ole Miss began when her daughter Katie attended the university on a volleyball scholarship. Evelyn created the Rebel Walk in 2013 and has served as publisher and managing editor since its inception.