Head coach Chris Beard of the Texas Longhorns looks on from the sidelines in the first half of the game against the Virginia Tech Hokies during the first round of the 2022 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament
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Ole Miss Hires Beard: Former Longhorns Coach Will Lead Rebels Despite Off-Court Issues

On Monday morning, the University of Mississippi announced it was hiring Chris Beard as head coach of the men's basketball program.

Last week, ESPN announced that Beard who had been fired by the University of Texas this year after being arrested on a domestic violence charge — was the front-runner for the vacant head coaching job at Ole Miss after it fired coach Kermit Davis. 

Chris Beard Takes Over Ole Miss Basketball Coaching Job

Head coach Chris Beard of the Texas Longhorns reacts in the second half against the TCU Horned Frogs during the first round game of the 2022 Phillips 66 Big 12 Men's Basketball Tournament

Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

"We are excited to welcome Coach Beard ... to the Ole Miss family," Vice Chancellor for Intercollegiate Athletics Keith Carter said in the statement Monday. "We thoroughly evaluated a number of outstanding candidates, and there is no doubt Coach Beard is one of the top coaches in the nation. After conducting due diligence and speaking to a number of individuals on and off the court, it was evident he is the right person to guide our team to greatness."

Beard also released a statement that he was "honored to be joining the Ole Miss family."

On the court, Beard has been one of the best coaches in men's college basketball over the last several years. He's led three different programs to the NCAA Tournament: Little Rock, Texas A&M and Texas. In 2019 under Beard's leadership, Texas A&M reached the national championship game, losing to Virginia 85-77. He holds a 237-98 record, which at a .707 winning percentage is one of the best among active coaches.

Off the court has been Beard's biggest issue. Beard was fired as coach of the Texas Longhorns following a domestic violence arrest. On Dec. 12, Beard was arrested after his fiancée, Randi Trew, called 911 and told officers that Beard choked her from behind, bit her and hit her following an argument between the two. Eleven days later, on Dec. 23, Trew released a statement that she never told police that Beard had choked her and claimed she initiated the altercation and Beard was just defending himself. The domestic violence charge was dropped on Feb. 15 after Travis County District Attorney Jose Garza reviewed the evidence and determined charges could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Trew also had wanted the charges dropped.

Nowhere in its statement Monday did Ole Miss address Beard's off-the-court issue.

MORE: Chris Beard Fired: Texas Men's Basketball Coach Let Go After Arrest