It has been precisely 10 weeks since Chris Beard agreed to go away Texas Tech for Texas — to maneuver 380 miles southeast, from one Massive 12 college to a different, in a improvement that was most likely the most important teaching rent of the 12 months though it was fully overshadowed nationally on the day it was introduced by Roy Williams’ retirement at North Carolina
And in the event you’re questioning simply how occupied Beard has been with recruiting, connecting and the whole lot else, perceive that he lastly moved out of a lodge simply final Friday evening.
“These job-changes are simply loopy,” Beard informed me this week.
And he’d definitely know.
Prior to now 10 years, the 48 year-old has technically held 9 completely different jobs — particularly affiliate head coach at Texas Tech, head coach of the ABA’s South Carolina Warriors, head coach at Lamar State Faculty-Port Arthur (for under six days), head coach at McMurry, head coach at Angelo State, head coach at Little Rock, head coach at UNLV (for under 19 days), head coach at Texas Tech and, now, head coach at Texas. The person has modified jobs lots, largely as a result of his path to teaching stardom has been an uncommon and sluggish climb highlighted by Beard getting a possibility and largely being nice at it in a short time, at which level higher alternatives rapidly offered themselves.
Step-by-step, he is simply been transferring up.
However there’s now motive to imagine Chris Beard is finished transferring as a result of, again on April 1, he landed the top-shelf vacation spot job for which all people penciled him in years in the past. For one motive or one other, most believed Shaka Good would ultimately exit Texas and get replaced by Beard. So whereas it is no shock that that’s exactly what occurred, what’s wild is that, 19 days earlier than it occurred, nearly no person would’ve predicted it could occur this 12 months, as a result of 19 days earlier than it occurred, Good was in Kansas Metropolis slicing nets after main the Longhorns to their first Massive 12 Match championship in historical past. In different phrases, Good’s seat had cooled significantly. So it appeared unlikely that the Texas job could be opening in 2021.
“You already know, Shaka and I are pals — about nearly as good of pals as you will be on this enterprise competing towards one another,” Beard stated. “I am not saying we go to church collectively and golf each Sunday, however there’s numerous respect between us two, and I do contemplate him a buddy. So this one, to me, kinda got here out of left discipline as a result of that they had simply received the Massive 12 championship in Kansas Metropolis, the postseason match. So when this occurred, the whole lot kinda occurred fast.”
As you probably know, after successful the Massive 12 Match, Good’s Longhorns, as a No. 3 seed, have been upset within the first spherical of the NCAA Match by Abilene Christian simply at some point after Marquette fired Steve Wojciechowski. The byproduct of these two developments was Texas followers once more souring on Good whereas, at principally the identical time, an ideal job in an ideal league in his dwelling state opened. So when it was provided, it was wise for Good to parachute out of Austin in pursuit of recent expectations, which is precisely what he did. And although there was a push by some Texas alums, most notably Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant, for the college to interchange Good with former Texas participant Royal Ivey, the no-brainer transfer was all the time athletic director Chris Del Conte giving Beard no matter it took to get him to go away one Texas college with good assets for an additional Texas college with nice assets, which is precisely what he did.
Within the subsequent 10 weeks, Beard has retained some key gamers, added some key gamers and assembled what can fairly be referred to as faculty basketball’s greatest employees. He introduced Ulric Maligi and Bob Donewald Jr. with him from Texas Tech, lured Jerrance Howard from Kansas, and satisfied each Rodney Terry and Chris Ogden to resign their positions as head coaches at Division I establishments. If it is not the costliest employees within the nation, it needs to be shut. And it is the most recent little bit of proof that reveals Texas is all-in on males’s basketball. The varsity will open a brand new $400 million enviornment subsequent April, it simply spent $35 million to get Beard, and thousands and thousands extra to let him create the employees he wished to create.
“If we’re gonna do that, let’s do it,” Beard stated whereas explaining his mindset and appreciation for his administration’s monetary help. “At Texas, the expectations are what they’re, and I embrace that. That is after I’m at my greatest. I do not need to be anyplace the place second place is rewarded. I obtained into teaching a very long time in the past to attempt to coach one of the best gamers and coach on the most important stage — and Texas offers you a chance to do this. So all of us perceive the expectations and what comes with the dedication that [Del Conte] and President [Jay] Hartzell and the College of Texas has made for males’s basketball, and we’re enthusiastic about that. We welcome the problem. We’re right here. And we’re gonna get it completed.”
I would guess on that prediction turning into true.
Clearly, there are few positive issues in faculty athletics aside from, say, Nick Saban, City Meyer, Rick Pitino and John Calipari, every of whom has proven over lengthy intervals of time that they will win principally anyplace. So nothing is assured right here. However it could be silly to imagine Beard will not flourish at Texas.
That is his third Division I job.
His first was at Little Rock — the place he inherited a 13-18 program and completed 30-5 in his first and solely 12 months whereas successful the Solar Belt regular-season title, Solar Belt Match title and advancing to the second spherical of the NCAA Match whereas setting a file for wins by a Solar Belt college. After doing all that, he bounced to his second Division I job at Texas Tech, the place, in simply his second season, he turned the primary coach to take the Crimson Raiders to the Elite Eight earlier than, in his third season, turning into the primary coach to take the Crimson Raiders to the Remaining 4 and nationwide title sport.
He actually did unprecedented issues at his first two DI jobs.
He exceeded all expectations.
So the observe file is splendid. And that is why it is affordable to suppose that, with time, Chris Beard can even do unprecedented issues at Texas, and, possibly simply possibly, convey the college its first nationwide championship in a sport that has been prioritized and is now arrange for achievement in each significant manner.