Players, Hocutt praise Beard following Coach of the Year announcement

Players, Hocutt praise Beard following Coach of the Year announcement
Chris Beard shortly after being awarded the 2019 AP Coach of the Year award at the Final Four in Minneapolis. (Devin Ward/KCBD)

MINNEAPOLIS, MN (KCBD) - Just two days before the Red Raiders take the court for their first appearance in the Final Four, Coach Chris Beard is already taking home a trophy.

Beard was named the AP Coach of the Year on Thursday, becoming the first coach in the state of Texas to earn the Honor.

“Getting this award today is so humbling. I hope there are some coaches like myself out there that see this, and don’t ever give up.”

In just his third season at the helm, Coach Beard has led the program to new heights and new expectations... led by his drive and his passion for the game.

“He works hard,” said Sophomore Jarrett Culver. “I have never seen anyone work like him. So, just the way he works and he has real relationships with his coaching staff and his players. Just having that means everything.”

Beard’s boss, Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt, spoke with KCBD directly following the announcement.

“What a great testament to everything that Coach Beard and the Red Raiders have accomplished,” Hocutt said. “What great exposure for Texas Tech... I couldn’t prouder for Coach Beard and this team, this year.”

Joining the names of greats like Bobby Knight, John Wooden, and Tom Izzo, Coach Beard credits this award to the players and the game he loves.

“Basketball is a great game. It can do a lot and obviously it has done a lot for me and my family. It has done a lot for these players,” said Beard. “You know, I think the game of basketball is a beautiful thing.”

Beard and the Red Raiders will face Tom Izzo and the Michigan State Spartans on Saturday night.

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