Chris Beard arrested, charged with assault on family member

Matthew Boncosky, Sports Editor

CW: This article contains mentions of interpersonal violence. 

Texas men’s basketball head coach Chris Beard was arrested on Dec. 12 and charged with third-degree felony assault on a family member, according to Travis County Sheriff’s Office records.

According to Austin police spokesman Brandon Jones, Beard is alleged to have strangled a woman at a home in Tarrytown. Police responded to a “disturbance-urgent” call at 2:07 a.m. He was booked into jail at 4:18 a.m., according to police records.

“The University takes matters of interpersonal violence involving members of its community seriously,” UT said in a statement. “Given the information available, The University has suspended Chris Beard from his position as head coach of Men’s Basketball and will withhold his pay until further notice.”

According to the arrest affidavit, Beard’s fiancé told police that a verbal altercation between the two became physical and that Beard choked, bit and threw her off a bed, resulting in bruises on her legs. The victim said she couldn’t breathe as a result of the choking, according to the affidavit.

On Friday, Beard’s fiancé released a statement about the incident in the first public comments by anyone involved, including the University, since Beard was initially suspended.

“Chris and I are deeply saddened that we have brought negative attention upon our family, friends, and the University of Texas, among others,” the statement read. “As Chris’ fiance and biggest supporter, I apologize for the role I played in this unfortunate event. I realize that my frustration, when breaking his glasses, initiated a physical struggle between Chris and myself. Chris did not strangle me, and I told that to law enforcement that evening. 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. We appreciate everyone’s support and prayers during this difficult time.”

Around 3 p.m. on Dec. 12, Beard was released from Travis County Jail after posting a cash bond of $10,000. The Travis County Sheriff’s Office online records also no longer indicate that Beard is in custody.

Beard, 49, is in his second year as head coach of the Longhorns after leaving Texas Tech to coach at his alma mater. He is 29-13 as Texas’ head coach, including a 7-1 start and No. 7 ranking in the AP Poll this season.

In its statement, UT announced that associate head coach Rodney Terry will serve as acting head coach against Rice on Dec. 12. Since then, the Longhorns have beaten Stanford and Louisiana while Beard remains suspended.


This story will be updated with more information as it becomes available. Last update: Friday, Dec.  23 at 9:32 p.m.