Chris Beard was introduced as the new head coach of Mississippi men’s basketball team Tuesday, just months after his arrest for domestic violence that led to his firing from the Texas Longhorns’ program.
Beard, 50, said he was “remorseful and sorry” for those impacted by the Dec. 12 allegations made by his fiancée, Randi Trew, but echoed a statement made by Ole Miss athletic director Keith Carter that the initial reports about the incident were “not accurate.”
“Like we would with any hire of this magnitude, we were extremely thorough in our review of coach Beard,” Carter told reporters during a press conference. “That evaluation included delving into reports that led to his departure from Texas. Those allegations we take very, very seriously, obviously. And it is so important that we gain a clear understanding of that particular situation.
CHRIS BEARD EXPECTED TO TAKE OLE MISS JOB WEEKS AFTER DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CHARGE DROPPED: REPORTS
“What we learned is that the initial reports were not accurate, not an accurate reflection of the events that happened. We had multilevel conversations with a number of people surrounding that night, and coach Beard was extremely transparent with our discussions with him.”
Beard was arrested in December after Trew called 911 and accused Beard of strangling, biting and hitting her during a confrontation in his home. She later released a statement refuting her initial claim that Beard had strangled her and noted that he was acting in “self-defense” the night of the altercation.
“It was never my intent to have him arrested or prosecuted,” her statement said.
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The case was later dropped, and Ole Miss began speaking to Beard Feb. 28, Carter said.
“After looking at all the information and learning more about the type of person that coach Beard is, we are very confident and excited for him to join the Ole Miss family.”
Beard did not provide details about the accusations or the night in question and frequently referred back to Trew’s statement. He sidestepped several questions regarding the initial accusations leveled against him.
“Respectfully, Randi and I have agreed not to talk about the details of not only that night, but the nights that we went through this — this process,” Beard said. “But what I can tell you is that much of what was reported was not accurate, and that has been proven with the case not only being dismissed, the charges being dropped, but also Randi’s statement on Dec. 23. I think that statement spoke for itself.”
Beard takes over for Kermit Davis, who was fired before the end of the 2022-23 season.
Beard has led three different programs to the NCAA Tournament since 2016, including an appearance in the 2019 championship game and an Elite Eight run the year before at Texas Tech. He is 237-98 as a head coach and 11-5 in the NCAA Tournament.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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