Chris Beard barely sat down at the poker table and now he’s being lured away for some craps. The former Arkansas-Little Rock head coach was formally hired as the head basketball coach at UNLV on April 9, and just six days later, he has been announced as the new coach at Texas Tech.
To his credit, most people can’t last more than a weekend in Las Vegas but Beard’s exit has a lot of people scratching their heads. Yes, Texas Tech has a better team returning next season and plays in the Big XII, but UNLV is likely the better long-term job.
The Rebels previously failed to lure Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin to campus, then saw freshman center Stephen Zimmerman jump to the NBA, followed by leading scorer Patrick McCaw and the now ineligible Derrick Jones Jr. Uber-talented sophomore Dwayne Morgan has also announced that he will transfer. For some reason, no one wants to be a Running Rebel right now. So yeah, it’s been a rough few weeks for the program.
UNLV president Len Jessup and athletic director Tina Kunzer-Murphy have a ton of work to do in order to spin this story and get a replacement on campus quickly. Donald Trump is probably wondering why they don’t just bring back Jerry Tarkanian.