University of Texas fires head coach Chris Beard amid domestic family violence charge

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Thursday, January 5, 2023
Texas basketball coach Chris Beard arrested on assault charge
PREVIOUS REPORT: The university's men's basketball coach is accused of assaulting a family member by "impeding breath circulation" or strangulation.

AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas head coach Chris Beard was fired Thursday, less than one month after the school suspended him without pay following his arrest on a domestic family violence charge.

Associate head coach Rodney Terry, who has been the acting head coach since Beard's suspension, will remain in charge for the rest of the season.

The video above is from a previous report.

Longhorns athletic director Chris Del Conte released a statement Thursday afternoon announcing the decision.

"The University of Texas has parted ways with Chris Beard," he said. "This has been a difficult situation that we've been diligently working through. (Thursday) I informed Mr. Beard of our decision to terminate him effective 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 he will remain the acting head coach for the remainder of the season," Del Conte said. "We are proud of our student-athletes, coaches and staff, who throughout this difficult time have continued to make us proud to be Longhorns."

Beard was arrested on the morning of Dec. 12 after his fiancée, Randi Trew, told officers he choked her from behind, bit her, and hit her when the two got into an argument. Beard's attorney, Perry Minton, said at the time that Beard "is 100% innocent of these charges," and Trew released a statement on Dec. 23 in which she denied telling police Beard choked her.

"Chris did not strangle me, and I told that to law enforcement that evening," Trew said in her statement. "Chris has stated that he was acting in self-defense, and I do not refute that. I do not believe Chris was trying to intentionally harm me in any way."

Trew's statement did not address why she made the emergency call or other details in the police report, such as bite marks and abrasions on her face and telling officers that she couldn't breathe for about five seconds.

The Travis County district attorney's office released a statement to ESPN's Myron Medcalf on Thursday morning, hours before Beard was fired.

"The matter is still under review, and our prosecutors are evaluating all of the evidence, including recent statements and all evidence collected by law enforcement. Our office takes all allegations of domestic violence seriously; in each case, we are committed to working through the unique challenges presented."

Beard had been the head coach at Texas since 2021, after spending five seasons at Big 12 rival Texas Tech. In his lone full season in Austin, Beard went 22-12 before losing in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Texas was off to a 7-1 start before Beard's arrest. Terry guided them to five straight wins before a home loss to Kansas State on Tuesday.

Beard was in the second season of a fully guaranteed, seven-year contract. His contract includes a provision under which he can be fired for cause for conduct that includes being charged with a felony.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.