Chris Beard, the head coach of the University of Texas men’s basketball team, was arrested on a felony domestic violence charge in Austin, Texas, early Monday. The authorities said he had assaulted a member of his household by trying to stop the person’s breathing.
The Austin Police Department said officers responded to a call about a disturbance at a home in Austin at around 12:15 am The caller said that the disturbance was over and that one of the people at the home had left, the police said in a statement . When the police arrived at the house, a woman told them that Beard had assaulted and choked her.
Beard, 49, was arrested and charged with assault on a member of a family or household by impeding breath circulation, a third-degree felony, according to the Travis County Sheriff’s Office.
Bond for Beard was set at $10,000.
Perry Minton, a lawyer for Beard, said in a statement on Monday that the coach was “100 percent innocent of these charges.”
“He should have never been arrested,” Minton said. “The complainant wants him released immediately and all charges dismissed. It is truly inconceivable.”
Details about whom Beard had been accused of assaulting and that person’s condition were not immediately available on Monday. Beard has three daughters and is engaged, according to his official biography on the University of Texas at Austin’s Athletics website.
The university said in a statement on Monday that it was “aware of the situation regarding Chris Beard.”
“We are continuing to gather information and monitor the legal process,” the university said.
The NCAA did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.
Beard was named coach of the Texas Longhorns in April 2021 after five seasons as the head coach of the men’s basketball team at Texas Tech, which he led to the NCAA national championship game in 2019.
Before that, Beard served as the head coach of the men’s basketball teams at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock; Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas; McMurry University in Abilene, Texas; Seminole State College at Sanford, Fla.; and Fort Scott Community College in Fort Scott, Kan. Beard graduated from the University of Texas in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology, the study of human motion.
The Texas Longhorns men’s basketball team is set to play Rice University on Monday night in Austin. The team was off on Sunday after beating the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff 88-43 in Austin on Saturday.
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