UALR Trojans’ Chris Beard Brings Bona Fides to New Job


LITTLE ROCK – UALR Director of Athletics Chasse Conque has announced Chris Beard as the Trojans’ new head men’s basketball coach. Beard spent 10 years as an assistant coach at Texas Tech working under Bobby Knight, and sports a record of 141-45 (.758) in six seasons as a head coach, including a 47-15 mark over the last two seasons at Angelo State.

“First, I would like to thank Chasse Conque and Chancellor Joel Anderson for this opportunity,” Beard said. ”This is a first-class academic institution in an incredible city and community. This basketball program has had a lot of success and I look forward to taking it to the next level.”

Beard was named the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) South Central Region and Lone Star Conference Coach of the Year after leading Angelo State to a program-record 28 wins in the 2014-15 season. The Rams boasted a perfect 17-0 home record and finished the season ranked No. 19 nationally.

Angelo State’s 47-15 record over the past two seasons includes a 28-2 mark at home and the program’s first-ever NCAA Division II Sweet Sixteen appearance in 2015.

“Chris Beard is a proven winner at every level and brings a wealth of experience to the table,” Conque said. “I believe he is the right person at this time to bring a winning program to Little Rock. His track record for graduating players and student-athlete welfare is second to none. Finally, he understands the importance of making this program a part of the community’s fabric and shares our vision for Little Rock’s Team. I’m excited about having Chris as our new head men’s basketball coach and am confident he will have us competing for championships in the near future.”

During its record-setting 2014-15 campaign, ASU led the nation in scoring margin (+20.3), finished third in the nation in field goal percentage (.528), fifth in assists (588) and fifth in defensive field goal percentage (.393). The Rams also ended the season in the top-15 nationally in total rebounds, assist-to-turnover ratio and assists per game. Angelo State averaged 84.1 points per game, good enough to lead the Lone Star Conference and South Central Region.

Beard led the Rams to a 19-9 record in his first season in San Angelo after inheriting a program coming off three straight losing seasons. Angelo State began the 2013-14 season by winnings its first 10 games – good enough for its best start in program history. That success helped ASU earn a national ranking for the first time since 2009.

“I think it’s a great hire,” Kansas head coach Bill Self said. “He had the chance to learn under one of the all-time pillars of our game in Bob Knight. He’ll bring energy, he’ll bring excitement and he’ll bring a work ethic and recruiting knowledge that will be very beneficial to the UALR program. I believe that Chris will provide a freshness that can take this program, which already has a solid foundation, to an even higher level.”

Prior to his stint at Angelo State, Beard spent the previous two seasons as a head coach at McMurry University and for the ABA’s South Carolina Warriors. Under Beard’s leadership, McMurry went 19-10 in its first season as a Division II member in 2012-13. With Beard as its head coach in 2011-12, South Carolina won the Mid Atlantic Championship, advanced to the ABA finals and posted a 31-2 mark as a first-year franchise.

“I’ve known Chris for a very long time, and he’s a great friend of mine,” Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes said. “Chris has an incredible work ethic and has won at every level he’s ever been. I’m very confident that he’ll accomplish great things at UALR.”

Chris Beard spent 10 years as an assistant coach at Texas Tech, including seven under legendary head coach Bobby Knight. He was named associate head coach in 2008 following Pat Knight’s appointment as head coach. In 10 years in Lubbock, the Red Raiders won 188 games – the best 10-year stretch in program history – while earning four NCAA Tournament bids and three NIT appearances. Beard’s run at Texas Tech was highlighted by the Red Raiders’ 2005 Sweet Sixteen run.

“I think Chris Beard is the finest young coach in America, bar none,” Texas Tech Chancellor Emeritus Kent Hance said. “He is a great recruiter and coach, but the thing that I like most about him is that he cares about the kids. He graduates players and makes sure they’re good citizens and complete student-athletes. I’m thrilled for him and UALR. Get ready, because you’re about to move up.”

Before joining Knight’s staff at Texas Tech, Beard garnered head coaching experience at Seminole State College and Fort Scott Community College. At Seminole State during the 2000-01 season, Beard led the program to a 25-6 record and a No. 14 national ranking. In one season at Fort Scott, Beard helped the program to 19 wins and a NJCAA Regional.

“Love the hire of Chris Beard,”’s Jeff Goodman said. “He’s extremely well respected in the industry and is considered a terrific coach as well as a grinder – which is needed in a place like Little Rock to be successful.”

Beard boasts three additional years of assistant coaching experience. Prior to two seasons (1997-99) at North Texas, he spent one season as an assistant at Abilene Christian. He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant under head coach Danny Kaspar at Incarnate Word.

“UALR just made a great hire in Chris Beard,” Jerry Mullen of Jerry Mullen Sports said. “I’ve followed Chris’ career very closely and he’s been a winner at every level. He will breathe new life into the fan base with his energy, infectious personality and recruiting contacts.”

Born in Marietta, Ga., and raised in Irving, Texas, Beard received his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from the University of Texas at Austin in 1995. He has three daughters, Avery, Ella and Margo.

chris beard new coach at ualr


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