NEWS Texas men’s basketball coach Chris Beard released, order of protection issued in assault case

Texas men's basketball coach Chris Beard released, order of protection issued in assault case

Texas men’s basketball coach Chris Beard has received a protective order and faces felony charges after a woman said he strangled her early Monday morning, Austin police said.

Beard, 49, was charged with assaulting a family member at a home in the 1900 block of Vista Lane, according to police. He faces a third-degree felony charge of assaulting a family member — obstructing breathing and circulation. The maximum penalty is 10 years’ imprisonment.

Police said they received a 911 call around 12:15 a.m. Monday that a disturbance had ceased at a residence near Tarrytown in West Austin. The caller reported that one of the men involved had left the house, where officers found a woman who she said Beard had beaten and strangled, police said.

Beard was checked into the Travis County Jail at 4:18 a.m., according to the sheriff’s office. He made his first court appearance on Monday and was released on $10,000 bond.

The judge also issued a protective order in the case. While the case is pending, Beard will not come within 200 yards of the woman he is accused of assaulting, and under an emergency order set to expire Feb. Talk to the woman.

This photo provided by the Austin Police Department shows Texas men’s basketball coach Chris Beard, who was arrested Monday, Dec. 12, 2022, on felony domestic violence charges.(Austin Police Department via AP/AP)

After being released from prison, Beard did not respond to reporters’ questionsBeard is “100 percent innocent of these charges,” his attorney, Perry Minton, told KEYE-TV on Monday morning in Austin.

“He should not have been arrested,” Minton said in a prepared statement. “The complainant wants him to be released immediately and all charges dismissed. It’s incredible.”

A University of Texas spokesman issued a statement Monday that did not provide any information on Beard’s status with the team.

“The University is aware of Chris Beard’s situation. We are continuing to gather information and monitor the legal process.”

After five seasons at Texas Tech, Beard becomes head coach of his alma mater, the Texas Longhorns, in 2021. He posted a 29-13 record over two seasons and led the Longhorns to a 7-1 win over three top-ranked teams — Gonzaga, Arkansas and Creighton. Texas fell to seventh and second in the country after last week’s loss to Illinois, its first loss of the season.

Texas will play Rice at 7 p.m. Monday at Moody Center in Austin before heading to Dallas on Sunday to take on Stanford at the American Airlines Center.

Who is Chris Beard?

Beard began his coaching journey in 1991 as a graduate assistant with the Longhorns. The road to getting him back to his alma mater has been long and winding, to say the least.

After leaving Texas in 1995, Beard worked as an assistant at Abilene Christian and North Texas. He is the head coach of two different post-secondary programs. He even spent a year coaching the semi-professional South Carolina Braves. Head coaching stints at McMurray University in Abilene and Angelo State University in San Angelo followed, before Beard began his Division I head coaching career in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Texas head coach Chris Beard talks to his players during the first half of the NCAA college...
Texas head coach Chris Beard talks to his players during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Creighton, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Guy)(Eric Guy/AP)
10 things to know about Chris Beard, including his arrest, return to Texas and more

By the time he arrived at Texas Tech in 2016, he had established a reputation as a defensive maestro, with teams embodying his philosophy at every stop.

“They’re really good at reaching out from there and poking and digging,” Gonzaga head coach Mark Few said of the 2019 Red Raiders. “So it’s real. This defense is real.

The same goes for Beard’s coaching rise. He described himself and his team as underdogs, but the title lost some relevance after Beard led Tech to the 2019 national championship game.

Despite an 85-77 overtime loss to Virginia, Beard proved to be one of the most watched coaches in the country. When Texas and former coach Shaka Smart part ways in 2021, Beard is the clear target.

Comfort Suites, McDonald’s and Monday Night: Chris Beard poised to bring title to Texas after unorthodox hire

He was adored at Texas Tech, but that changed when Beard signed a seven-year, $35 million deal with Texas — a Big 12 conference competitor.

“Chris has done a lot for this community, for this program,” Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hockat said last year. “If he had gone to any other university, he would have been celebrated.

“But there are some things you can’t do, and one of them is you can’t leave Texas Tech and go to Texas.”

A hostile crowd and plenty of boos awaited Beard when he first traveled to Lubbock with the Longhorns last season. The Red Raiders and new head coach Mark Adams won that game and ended up in the Sweet 16 — one step ahead of the second-round loss to Purdue’s Longhorns and Beards.

But it was the Longhorns’ first NCAA tournament win under Rick Barnes since 2014, and the Beard finished 22-12 in his first season. Expectations are high for this season after the Longhorns secured a top-six recruiting class and multiple transfers.

So far, Texas has lived up to it.

Find more Texas coverage from the Dallas Morning News here.

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