With the success of the Texas Tech men’s basketball team this season, Chris Beard is here to stay.
In the 2018-19 season, Beard coached the Red Raiders to a 31-7 record, which is the most wins in a single season in program history, according to sports-reference. He also guided the team to back-to-back Elite Eight appearances, the program’s first Final Four appearance and the first appearance in the National Championship.
With the men’s basketball team’s success, Tech Athletics Director Kirby Hocutt said he wants Beard to stay in Lubbock, according to Everything Lubbock.
“There’s not a better coach for Texas Tech in this country than Chris Beard,” Hocutt said, according to Everything Lubbock. “The job he’s done is tremendous. I think everyone knows we’re going to recognize that and be proactive.”
Hocutt plans to invest in the basketball program after the success it had this season, he said, according to Everything Lubbock.
“We’re going to continue to invest in the program like we have with the groundbreaking of the Womble Basketball Center,” Hocutt said, according to the Everything Lubbock. “We’re going to continue to invest in other aspects of the basketball program as well as in Coach Beard and his staff.”
Although Beard has not signed a new contract with Tech, Hocutt plans to keep him as the head coach for the men’s basketball program.
“We’ll sit down in the next, I’m sure, 72 hours and have a chance to have a conversation about the future,” Hocutt said after the National Championship game, according to Everything Lubbock. “We’re going to be proactive and make sure this is the best place for him to continue his career.”
The contract Beard signed in 2018 was a six-year contract extension worth $19.05 million to make rank him as one of the top-30 highest paid coaches the country, according to Tech Athletics. Beard should receive an increase to his salary after many teams such as Texas, UCLA and Arkansas wanted his successful coaching to be part of their programs.
Tech fans also appreciate Beard as they started a petition to change the name of Lubbock Loop 289 to be named after the coach, according to KAMC News. The petition has nearly 5,000 signatures to memorialize Beard’s legacy in the city.
The Red Raiders also won their first regular season championship in program history under Beard’s coaching. His guidance resulted in him being named Big 12 Coach of the Year for the second-straight year.
Along with earning the Big 12 Coach of the Year honor, Beard was recognized nationally, being named the AP Coach of the Year, according to the NCAA.
Beard also holds one of the best records as a men’s basketball coach at Tech as he has coached the Red Raiders to a 73-31 record in three years, according to sports-reference. With his record, Beard leads every Tech coach with a .710 win-loss percentage and the coach with the next highest win percentage is Berl Huffman with a .638 win-loss percentage after going 188-120 over 11 seasons.
In the first 79 years of the Tech men’s basketball program, the Red Raiders had an 8-16 record in the NCAA Tournament, according to CBS Sports. In the last two years under Beard, the Red Raiders posted an 8-2 record in the tournament.
“I don’t think there’s a better job fit for Coach Beard than at Texas Tech,” Hocutt said, according to the Everything Lubbock. “I just think the fit is natural.”