Texas Tech AD Kirby Hocutt did not waste any time getting his man. On the same day as the abrupt departure of Tubby Smith to Memphis, Hocutt boarded a plane bound for Las Vegas. Upon arrival he met with UNLV coach Chris Beard and a deal was struck for him to become the Texas Tech basketball coach. Beard had only been at UNLV for about two weeks before accepting the Texas Tech job. This cannot sit well with the UNLV faithful, but as we know all too well if a coach would rather be somewhere else it is best to cut them loose.
In the 2015-2016 season Beard was the head coach at Arkansas-Little Rock and posted a 30-5 record that earned a birth in the NCAA tournament. His quick success at Arkansas-Little Rock earned him the position at UNLV. Coach Beard does have roots in Texas and more importantly at Texas Tech. He served as an assistant at Texas Tech from 2001-2011 mostly under legendary coach Bobby Knight.
Although Beard doesn't have a long successful head coaching resume it is safe to say his future looks bright. I believe that once Kirby Hocutt decided Beard was qualified to be the coach only two questions needed to be answered. First, does Beard really want to be at Texas Tech? Second, will he commit to being in Lubbock long term? I cannot say I know what defines long term in this situation, but I think we can all agree it is more than three years. One has to assume that Hocutt was convinced the answer was yes to both or no job offer would have been extended.
There will be plenty more to follow on our new men's basketball coach over the coming days so stay tuned.
Congratulations and welcome BACK to Lubbock Coach Beard!