UT Basketball Hires Chris Beard

Luke Smith , Multimedia Reporter

After 6 seasons, Texas Longhorns and head basketball coach Shaka Smart parted ways. In 6 seasons, Smart had an overall record of 109-86 with 3 March Madness appearances, losing all of them. This season was a huge disappointment for Texas. After an impressive regular season and victory in the Big 12 Championship, Texas landed a spot as a 3 seed for the tournament. Unfortunately, Texas lost in the 1st round to Abilene Christian in a shocking 52-53 loss. Nevertheless, former Texas Tech head coach Chris Beard is an excellent hire for Texas. In 5 seasons at Texas Tech, Beard led the Red Raiders to 3 March Madness appearances, most notably the national title game in 2019 against Virginia and an Elite Eight appearance in 2018. This season, Tech finished 18-11 overall and made it to the second round before losing to Arkansas. Beard also advanced past the 1st round at least in each of his tournament appearances, which is something Shaka Smart never did. Beard will earn around a $5 million salary as well as a $4 million buyout. Texas has never really been a notable basketball school; they haven’t won a tournament game since 2014 and have only made 3 Final Four appearances in program history. However, Texas has also produced great NBA players, most notably Kevin Durant (forward, Brooklyn Nets), Jarrett Allen (center, Cleveland Cavaliers) and Lamarcus Aldridge (forward, Brooklyn Nets). These examples show that Texas can produce great players but have never really had a great coach. With Beard, Texas basketball can have both and consistently make tournament appearances and win games. Texas basketball has a bright future.