Chris Beard Talks UNLV, Texas Tech and Recruiting

Texas Tech head coach Chris Beard discusses leaving UNLV, Texas Tech and recruiting in an interview with Sports Illustrated.

SI’s David Gardner talked to Texas Tech head coach Chris Beard about taking the UNLV job and then taking the Texas Tech job a week later. Beard talked about how he told the players at UNLV the truth when the Texas Tech job happened. Of course, there were only 3 players at UNLV at the time, but still told his team what happened:

SI: Now let’s move onto UNLV. You were there essentially for a week. In your opening press conference you said you’d reached out to every player to introduce yourself. How did you handle sharing with them the news that you were leaving?

CB: I just told the guys the truth. I told them very transparently what had progressed. We take a lot of pride in our program in being truth-tellers. Sometimes the truth isn’t easy; sometimes the truth isn’t fun. But at UNLV, there were only three guys on the team. By the time the Tech job had opened, several of the players had made decisions to transfer, which I supported. We tried to help all those guys every way.

The day that we left, there were three players on the team. We told all three of those guys the truth. All of them were great. I know a lot has been written and a lot has been said, but I’ve got a lot of respect for UNLV. I think it’s a great program. I think it always will be.

Beard also talked about how last year Texas Tech beat his Little Rock team and how he has respect for former coach Tubby Smith:

SI: They were one of the few teams that got the better of you last year.

CB: Yeah, and I’ve been giving the guys a hard time about that every day. It’s kind of crazy how everything has come full circle. They had a nice team last season. I was reflecting back recently, because we had a good season at Little Rock. Tech was one of the best defensive teams we played all year. I thought they were a really good rebounding team last year.

I have a lot of respect for coach [Tubby] Smith. He did a great job coaching here. The foundation is solid. He did a lot of great things at Tech. I’ve always respected him from afar. After being here and inheriting the program and seeing how things are run, I have even more respect for him.

Last but not least, and I recommend that you read the whole thing, is you get some insight on how Beard recruits players. The player in question that Beard is discussing is Jarrett Culver, who plays at Coronado. The second day on the job, Beard offered Culver and it’s been somewhat of a mystery as to why Smith didn’t offer Culver sooner, but Beard essentially offered as quickly as possible. Culver is a 4-star guard and his brother Trey is a sophomore high jumper on the track team.

In any event, Beard is talking about how the close proximity to his daughters was a factor in choosing Texas Tech, not the only factor, but a factor. Lots of things go in to choosing a program:

SI: So it just was a happy coincidence?

CB: Exactly. We’re recruiting a somewhat local player right now. I talk to him all the time and say that it would be cool to play in front of friends and family. It’s a special opportunity for you here, but it’s not the only reason you should come here. The style of play still has to fit. You still have to be comfortable with the guys you’ll be playing with, the relationships and the academic program. Everything has to align. The proximity to family—that’s just one factor.

Again, read the whole things, it is definitely worth your time.


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