Oct 19, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, US; Texas Longhorns coach Chris Beard is interviewed during the mens Big 12 Basketball Tipoff media day at T-Mobile Center. Mandatory Credit: William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports
A Texas district attorney dismissed the domestic violence charge against former Texas Longhorns head coach Chris Beard on Wednesday.
Travis County District Attorney Jose Garza made the announcement, saying in a statement that “our office has determined that the felony offense cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Beard was arrested on Dec. 12, 2022, and charged with assault by strangulation/suffocation — family violence. Beard was subsequently fired by Texas on Jan. 5.
James E. Davis, the university’s vice president for legal affairs, wrote in a letter to his attorney that Beard was “unfit to serve as a head coach at our university.”
Rodney Terry has been acting head coach for the Longhorns since Beard’s dismissal.
Beard was suspended Dec. 12, the same day he was arrested in the early morning hours after police responded to his home to investigate an “emergency threat to life” domestic call.
The 49-year-old Beard was arrested and booked on felony domestic violence charges and police revealed the call came from Beard’s live-in fiancee.
Beard was suspended without pay and, per a clause in the $35 million deal he signed before last season, Beard’s firing “with cause” fully absolves Texas of financial obligation, the university contended.
In a now-telling response to Davis, Beard’s attorney, Perry Q. Minton wrote:
“No charges will ever be brought against Chris Beard. With this, I want to be on record as emphatically stating, and herein memorializing, that Coach Beard has not done anything to violate any provision of his contract with the University of Texas.”
Per a police report, the woman told police that Beard “choked me, threw me off the bed, bit me, bruises all over my leg, throwing me around, and going nuts.”
In a statement issued 11 days later, she said that she told law enforcement that Beard had not attempted to strangle her.
“Chris did not strangle me, and I told that to law enforcement that evening,” she said in a statement. “Chris has stated that he was acting in self-defense, and I do not refute that. I do not believe Chris was trying to intentionally harm me in any way. It was never my intent to have him arrested or prosecuted.”
Beard led Texas to a 7-1 record at the time of the incident. The Longhorns are currently 20-6 (9-4 Big 12) and ranked No. 6 in the country under Terry. They play at Oklahoma on Saturday. Beard was in his second season coaching the Longhorns.
Beard went 112-55 in five seasons as head coach at Texas Tech before being hired away by Texas. He led the 2018-19 Red Raiders to the NCAA Tournament title game, falling to Virginia 85-77 in overtime.
–Field Level Media