College Basketball

Chris Beard nearing deal to coach Ole Miss: Rebels close to hiring ex-Texas boss with controversial past

chris beard 1

chris beard 1

Ole Miss is nearing a deal to hire former Texas coach Chris Beard, sources told CBS Sports. 

Representatives for the school and Beard’s camp have been working for more than a week to parse through the delicate vetting process and legal obstacles required to clear the former Texas coach to accept another head-coaching position. Beard was identified publicly as the leading candidate last week, and now the two sides are nearing an agreement. 

Beard is 237-98 in his career at the Division I level. Prior to taking over his alma mater in 2021, he led Texas Tech for five seasons and brought the Red Raiders to their first and only Final Four in 2019 which led to a national title game appearance. Prior to the incident that triggered his firing from Texas, Beard had quickly built a reputation as one of college basketball’s more formidable head coaches. 

The Rebels fired former coach Kermit Davis on Feb. 24. 

Ole Miss hiring Beard is guaranteed to draw attention and inevitably invite criticism. 

The 50-year-old has been out of the profession since early December when he was arrested on a felony domestic violence charge while serving as head coach at Texas. The charge was subsequently dropped in February. 

Beard’s fiancée, Randi Trew, called 911 early in the morning hours of Dec. 12 and told authorities Beard allegedly “choked me, threw me off the bed, bit me, bruises all over my leg, throwing me around, and going nuts.”

Eleven days later, on Dec. 23, Trew retracted many parts of her initial statement to police and claimed responsibility for triggering the incident that night in their home. 

In her Dec. 23 statement, Trew said, “Chris did not strangle me, and I told that to law enforcement that evening. Chris has stated that he was acting in self-defense, and I do not refute that. I do not believe Chris was trying to intentionally harm me in any way. It was never my intent to have him arrested or prosecuted.”

Texas ultimately fired Beard for cause on Jan. 5. A little over one month later, on Feb. 15, the Travis County District Attorney’s Office in Austin, Texas, dropped the felony charge against Beard on a determination that the case could not be proven “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

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Publish Date:2023-03-13 22:26:33

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