Chris Beard has agreed to a seven-year, $35 million contract as the new basketball coach of the Texas Longhorns, a source close to the situation told Horns247.
The contract calls for Beard to earn a base salary of $5 million in each year of the deal, plus incentives, and is “about 70 percent guaranteed,” the source said.
Beard had a base salary this season at Texas Tech of $4.3 million, but he earned $5.1 million for the 2020-21 school year, because he had a one-time, $750,000 retention bonus paid to him in September, plus other incentives reached.
According to Beard's last contract at Tech, obtained by Horns247, Beard was set to earn base salaries of $4.4 million in 2021-22; $4.5 million in 2022-23; $4.6 million in 2023-24; and $4.7 million in 2024-25.
Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt reportedly offered Beard a “lifetime contract” near the end of this past season. On Friday, Kansas announced a “lifetime contract” extension for Bill Self that starts with a new five-year, rolling agreement that automatically adds one year at the conclusion of each season for the remainder of Self’s career.
There was some speculation Texas might have to pay Beard more than first-year football coach Steve Sarkisian to lure Beard to Austin. But that didn’t end up being the case. In January, Sarkisian agreed to a six-year, $34.2 million contract that starts at a base salary of $5.2 million and escalates by $200,000 in each year of the deal.
Beard, who graduated from Texas in 1996 and served as a student assistant to former UT basketball coach Tom Penders, said at his introductory press conference on Friday, “I don’t coach for money. I coach to win.”
“Although I waited to make that comment until I did sign the contract, and I think there’s a little bit of money in there,” Beard joked.
Beard, who called leaving Texas Tech “the most difficult decision of my life,” focused on two primary themes as the new coach of the Longhorns – “reuniting the Texas basketball family” and recruiting “the best players in the world” to Austin.
“We’ve got to get this program to where it’s competing for national championships,” Beard said. “How are we going to get there? By uniting the Longhorns’ basketball family. When it’s united, it’s a powerful thing. And college basketball is all about players. Players are No. 1. Players are No. 2, and players are No. 3.
“I need your help. I don’t think I have all the answers. We’ve got to make the Frank Erwin center the toughest place to play this season. A home-court advantage is critical, and I’m going to need your help.”
Beard said the reason he took the job at Texas is because of “the expectations and standards” of his alma mater.
“Expectations don’t scare me,” Beard said. “Don’t get it twisted. Those expectations are the reason I’m here.”
Beard also quoted UT’s battle cry – ” The pride and winning tradition of the Texas Longhorns will not be entrusted to the weak nor the timid.” And then followed that up by saying, “I’m not timid. I’m not weak.
“I was raised with no sense of entitlement,” Beard added. “We will respect everyone and fear no one. We’re the University of Texas.”
Beard said his culture of discipline, unselfishness, toughness and accountability has been the “best culture in college basketball.
“That’s how we won at Texas Tech, and that’s how we’ll win here.”
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Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte said he flew to Plainview, Texas, just north of Lubbock, to meet with Beard Thursday morning. Del Conte said they met at the Comfort Inn in Plainview and then went and had breakfast at McDonald’s.
“It just clicked,” Beard said. “CDC has an urgency about getting things done that I share. … This will not be a rebuild. This will not be, ‘Put an asterisk by the first season, because it doesn’t matter.’ We will win now.
“As far as the hunger of the fan base, no one can match my hunger. I love being around people with high expectations. I love challenges, and I love proving people wrong – quickly. Right now, we have to unite the Texas basketball family to develop a home-court advantage and get players, players, players.”
As Beard’s press conference was going on, Horns247’s Nick Harris confirmed Tech 6-foot-7 freshman guard Micah Peavy of Duncanville is in the transfer portal with Texas as the school to watch.
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