Ole Miss extends Chris Beard after 20-win season

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Ole Miss head coach Chris Beard agreed to a new contract on Wednesday, one day ahead of the Rebels’ second-round game against Texas A&M in the Southeastern Conference tournament.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed by the university, however CBS Sports reported the contract is for six years and extends through the 2029-30 season.

The Rebels won their first 13 games this season and have a 20-11 overall record (7-11 SEC) during Beard’s first season at the helm. By comparison, Ole Miss posted a 12-21 (3-15) mark last season.

“The future of Ole Miss Basketball could not be brighter under Coach Beard’s leadership,” said Keith Carter, Ole Miss athletic director. “His impact on every facet of our program was immediately apparent, and it has translated to a new standard of success and a culture that is building every day. He has galvanized Rebel Nation, and particularly our student body, and created a newfound passion for men’s basketball that is felt throughout the entire Ole Miss community. We could not be more excited to strengthen our investment in the program and can’t wait to see what the many years ahead hold with Coach Beard leading our team.”

Beard, 51, said he’s looking forward to better days ahead in Oxford, Miss.

“I appreciate Chancellor (Glenn) Boyce, Keith and the Ole Miss administration for their belief and support as we continue on our path of building a championship program in Oxford,” Beard said. “I also want to express my gratitude to the Ole Miss fan base, supporters, alumni and our students for their dedication to our players and program. We are just getting started.”

Beard went 112-55 in five seasons as head coach at Texas Tech (2016-21) and led the 2018-19 Red Raiders to the NCAA Tournament title game, falling to Virginia 85-77 in overtime.

He was hired away by Texas, his alma mater, prior to the 2021-22 campaign, but his tenure there was short. He was suspended eight games into his second season, then fired after he was arrested and charged with third-degree family violence, though the charges later were dropped.

He is a three-time conference coach of the year and the 2019 national coach of the year and has a career coaching record of 191-84. He has taken three programs to the NCAA Tournament, including Little Rock, which he coached for one season (2015-16) to a 30-5 record and a win over No. 5 seed Purdue in the first round.