Last month, the Ole Miss Rebels became the second Power 5 school in college basketball to decide to move on from their head coach this season.
The move came amid a disastrous season that has seen the Rebels struggle to an 11-20 record and finish with the SEC’s 2nd worst regular season record.
Now they find themselves looking for a coach that turn things around next season.
To do that, it looks like they are willing to overlook some controversy.
According to ESPN’s Pete Thamel and Jeff Borzello, Chris Beard has emerged as the top candidate to be the next head coach at Ole Miss.
Sources: Former Texas coach Chris Beard has emerged as the top candidate for the Ole Miss basketball job. The sides have spoken and Ole Miss in in the process of doing due diligence on Beard. W/@jeffborzello. https://t.co/OjGfcujgY8
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) March 8, 2023
Beard was the first coach fired by a Power 5 program.
His time at Texas came to an end back in January after he was arrested on felony assault charges that have since been dismissed.
On the court, Beard has been a very successful coach at every division school he has made a stop at.
First it was at Arkansas-Little Rock, where he won 30 games in his first season, including an upset win over Purdue in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
That impressive run earned him a shot at Texas Tech. In his 2nd year in Lubbock, Beard led the Red Raiders to the Elite Eight. In Year 3, they took Virginia to overtime in the national title game.
Then he made the move to Texas, where he took the Longhorns to the second round of the tournament in his first year. This season, they were 7-1 before his off-court issues.
Despite the issues off the court this year, there is likely no coach currently available right now who is more likely to improve this team’s performance on the court.