Chris Beard was introduced as the new head coach of Mississippi men’s basketball team on Tuesday, just months after his domestic violence arrest that led to his dismissal from the Texas Longhorns program.
Beard, 50, said he was «sorry and sorry» for those affected by the accusations of December 12 made by his fiancee, Randi Trew, but echoed a statement made by Ole Miss athletic director Keith Carter that initial reports about the incident were «not accurate.»
«As we would with any signing of this magnitude, we were extremely thorough in our review of Coach Beard,» Carter told reporters during a news conference. «That assessment included delving into the reports that led to his departure from Texas. We take those allegations very, very seriously, obviously. And it’s very important that we get a clear understanding of that particular situation.»
CHRIS BEARD EXPECTED TO TAKE WORK WEEKS FROM OLE MISS AFTER DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CHARGE WAS DROPPED: REPORTS
«What we learned is that the initial reports were not accurate, they did not accurately reflect the events that transpired. We had multi-level conversations with various people who were around that night, and Coach Beard was extremely transparent with our conversations with him.»
Beard was arrested in December after Trew called 911 and accused Beard of strangling, biting and beating her during a confrontation at her home. She later issued a statement refuting her initial claim that Beard had strangled her, noting that he was acting in «self-defense» the night of the altercation.
«It was never my intention to arrest or prosecute him,» his statement said.
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The case was later archived and old miss he began talking to Beard on February 28, Carter said.
«After looking at all the information and learning more about the type of person Coach Beard is, we are very confident and excited for him to join the Ole Miss family.»
Beard did not provide details about the allegations or the night in question and frequently referred to Trew’s statement. He dodged several questions about the initial accusations made against him.
«Randi and I respectfully agreed not to discuss the details of not just that night, but the nights that we went through this process,» Beard said. “But what I can tell you is that much of what was reported was inaccurate, and that has been proven with not only the case dismissed, the charges dropped, but also Randi’s statement on December 23. I think that statement speaks for itself.»
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Beard replaces 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 record of 11-5 in the NCAA Tournament.
Associated Press contributed to this report.