Texas FIRES basketball coach Chris Beard three weeks after he was arrested for ‘choking his fiancée’
BREAKING: Texas FIRES basketball coach Chris Beard three weeks after being arrested for ‘strangling his fiancee’, who has since recanted his domestic violence allegations
The Texans fired men’s basketball coach Chris Beard on Thursday after he was arrested Dec. 12 for allegedly choking his fiancee.
Beard had been suspended without pay since he was arrested, and school officials have said an internal investigation is underway.
Police responded to an emergency call at Beard’s home after midnight on December 12 and arrested him after Beard’s fiancee, Randi Trew, told officers that he strangled her from behind, bit her and hit her when the two argued.
Beard’s attorney has said the trainer is innocent, and Trew has since issued a statement denying Beard strangled her.
Texas fired basketball coach Chris Beard on Thursday while he faces a felony charge of domestic family violence stemming from a Dec. 12 incident involving his fiancee.
Texas men’s basketball coach Chris Beard, second from left, leaves the Travis County Jail in Austin, Texas, Monday, December 12.
The Associated Press obtained the termination letter that was sent to Beard’s attorney. Beard had five years remaining on a guaranteed seven-year contract that includes a provision that he could be fired for cause if charged with a felony.
The assault by strangulation/asphyxiation family violence charge carries a possible prison sentence of two to 10 years if convicted.
The Associated Press does not usually identify alleged victims of extreme violence, but Trew released a public statement on December 23 denying she told police Beard choked her. He also said that he never intended for him to be arrested or prosecuted.
“Chris did not choke me, and I told the police that night,” Trew said in his statement. Chris has stated that he acted in self-defense, and I do not dispute that. I don’t think Chris was intentionally trying to harm me in any way.
Trew’s statement did not address why he made the emergency call or other details in the police report, such as bite marks and abrasions on his face and telling officers he was unable to breathe for about five seconds.
According to the arrest affidavit, Trew initially told police that she and Beard had been having an argument in which she broke his glasses before he “just hit me and got super violent.” Police reported that Trew said Beard removed his glasses from his face and “choke me, bit me, bruised my whole leg, threw me, and went berserk.”
The Travis County district attorney’s office has not responded to previous requests for comment on Beard’s case or whether Trew’s Dec. 23 statement would change how prosecutors proceed with the felony charge.
A court hearing is scheduled for January 18, according to online records.
Trew is a longtime volleyball coach who resigned from her position at a Texas high school in 2020 shortly before Beard accepted the coaching job in Austin.
Beard led Texas Tech to the 2019 NCAA Tournament championship game and was signed to Texas in 2021 with the expectation that he would elevate his alma mater to the same elite level. He had the Longhorns program humming this season, starting 6-0 and being ranked No. 2.
Associate head coach Rodney Terry took Beard’s place during the suspension. The Longhorns (12-2, 1-1 Big 12) won their first five games under Terry before losing 116-103 to Kansas State on Tuesday.