The hiring comes the day Beard’s buyout for the Big 12 Conference School switch dropped to $ 4 million, according to ESPN. Beard’s salary at Tech was nearly $ 5 million a year, but Texas has one of the best jobs in the sport, on top of ties to Beard, who started his coaching career as a student assistant when Tom Penders was the coach.
In five seasons in which Beard set a 112-55 record at Tech, the Red Raiders rose to a national championship game, losing to Virginia in 2019 and competing in the Elite Eight. Earlier this month, Tech, a sixth seed, lost to Arkansas in the second round of the NCAA 68-66 tournament. His teams have contested the NCAA tournament three times.
The move comes despite a request from a high profile former tech soccer player. Days ago, Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes asked Chiefs Beard not to leave.
The hiring comes the same day that another high profile college basketball job opened. Previously, North Carolina’s Roy Williams announced that he is retiring after 33 years.
Smart’s run in Texas was disappointing after leading the VCU to a Final Four appearance and a 109-86 record in six seasons. Although his Longhorns were 19-8 that season and won the Big 12 tournament, they failed to win an NCAA tournament game during his time in Austin. That year, the Longhorns lost 53-52 to Abilene Christian and coach Joe Golding’s comment after the game was particularly sharp.
“We just beat the University of Texas,” he said. “Little old Abilene Christian in West Texas developed a head-to-toe program with the University of Texas, and it’s an incredible story. That’s what March is all about. ”