Texas fired men’s basketball coach Chris Byrd after arrest on domestic violence charges

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The University of Texas at Austin has fired Chris Beard as head men’s basketball coach, Texas athletics director Chris Del Conte said Thursday.

“It was a difficult situation that we worked hard on. Today I informed Mr Bird of our decision to fire him immediately. We thank Coach Rodney Terry for his exemplary leadership both on and off the court at a time when our team needed it most. We are grateful that he will remain acting head coach until the end of the season. We are proud of our student athletes, coaches and staff who have continued to make us proud to be Longhorns during this difficult time,” Del Conte wrote in a press release.

Beard was arrested around 4 a.m. on December 12 after Austin police were called to a house in the 1900 block of Vista Lane. Beard was charged with assault by strangulation/suffocation – domestic violence, a felony in the third degree, after he was accused of strangling and beating his fiancée.

Shortly after his arrest, he was suspended from his coaching position without pay “until further notice”. Since then, assistant head coach Rodney Terry has been the acting head coach of the Longhorns basketball team, ranked 7th in the nation in the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll.

Byrd, hired by UT after five years as a trainer at Texas Institute of Technology, leaves the program with a 29-13 record in part of two seasons. He led Texas Tech to a national championship game in 2019 in a loss to Virginia.

The year before, he had led the Red Raiders to the first Elite Eight in school history. In five seasons at Lubbock, Bird posted a 112-55 overall record and a 9-3 record in the NCAA Tournament.

Prior to Texas Tech, Bird was head coach at Arkansas Little Rock (2015–2016), Angelo State (2013–15), McMurry State (2012–13), and Seminole State College (2000– 01). He was also an assistant coach at Texas Tech for 10 years from 2001 to 2011, a student assistant in Texas under Coach Tom Penders, and an alumni assistant at Incarnate Word.

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