Beard returning with fond emotions, Tech followers really feel betrayed


Chris Beard fondly remembers enchiladas from a favourite spot, the BBQ sandwiches at one of many city’s oldest joints and positively that NCAA nationwide championship sport look whereas he was at Texas Tech.

Pink Raiders followers solely really feel the betrayal of the coach who left Lubbock final 12 months for his or her most-hated rival, regardless of that Texas is his alma mater. They usually have been ready eagerly for his return.

Beard makes his first go to as coach of the Twenty third-ranked Longhorns on Tuesday evening, three days after Texas Tech college students had been already tenting out to get in even earlier than the tip of the final sport for the 14th-ranked Pink Raiders. The sport has been offered out for greater than a month, and the most affordable upper-level seats out there on the secondary ticket market Monday evening had been going for about $300.

Whereas Beard tried to downplay the importance of his return, calling it the following sport on the schedule and with a lot of private connections, he did acknowledge that he is not shocked about any animosity towards him from those self same followers who cherished him not too way back.

“A part of it, man. Change occurs in life and modifications in sports activities,” Beard mentioned. “No regrets. I believe we left the job higher than we discovered it. … No regrets in any respect. You understand, selected to return again to my alma mater and do this problem, and all of us have the correct to make selections. And you understand, that’s what we did.”

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Movies posted on social media Monday evening confirmed Texas Tech college students and followers lining either side of a tunnel entrance because the Longhorns staff bus arrived on the area. There have been chants in unison utilizing an expletive directed at Texas.

When the bus was later backing out to go away, with Beard sitting within the entrance row dealing with them, a big group of individuals adopted with a lot of them giving him the center finger.

Texas Tech and Texas have an identical 16-5 data. Each are additionally 5-3 within the Large 12 going into the sport that may wrap up the primary half of their convention schedules.

The Pink Raiders are 13-0 at dwelling, together with a win over Kansas, beneath first-year coach Mark Adams. The 65-year-old Adams, who was Beard’s prime assistant and who grew up about 40 miles away from the Lubbock campus, stayed and acquired the job he had at all times dreamed of getting at his alma mater.

There actually will not be the identical sort of reception in Lubbock for Beard like what Rick Barnes acquired in Austin o n Saturday evening, when the coach who final took the Longhorns to the Remaining 4 in 2003 paid a go to together with his Tennessee staff.

Earlier than the Tennessee sport, Texas gamers wore warm-up shirts that learn “Thank You Coach Barnes.” There was a video tribute earlier than the sport to the coach who gained a school-record 402 video games over his 17 seasons earlier than getting fired in 2015.

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Adams, talking earlier Monday, mentioned he wasn’t shocked at among the hostility from followers towards the previous coach.

“Oh, it’s sort of a love-hate deal, a number of emotion there. It’s to be anticipated,” Adams mentioned, who then reminded followers that regardless of how they really feel about Beard, ”it’s a Large 12 sport, it’s an enormous sport for us.”

Texas Tech is bringing in legendary wrestler Ric Aptitude to additional hype an already fired-up fan base earlier than and throughout the sport.

“We perceive it’s going be a hostile atmosphere, however we expect we’re constructed for this,” mentioned Timmy Allen, whose free throw with six seconds left was the distinction for the Longhorns in a 52-51 win over Tennessee.

Beard, who beforehand was at Tech from 2001-11 as affiliate head coach for Bob Knight after which Pat Knight, was 112-55 in his 5 seasons as head coach. The Pink Raiders went to the NCAA Elite Eight in 2018, then a 12 months later completed 31-7 with an additional time loss to Virginia within the nationwide title sport.

“I used to be there 15 years and I gave it every part I had. I didn’t take in the future off mentally or bodily,” Beard mentioned. “Our success collectively is actual, it’s nicely documented.”

The Pink Raiders have eight newcomers this season, together with seven Division I transfers. There are solely 5 remaining who performed for Beard final season, together with standouts Terrence Shannon and Kevin McCullar. One of many transfers, main scorer Bryson Williams, performed the previous two seasons at UTEP for Rodney Terry, now Beard’s prime assistant at Texas.

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“Lots of respect for that program and coach. … Togetherm we did construct an plain dwelling court docket benefit and stay up for enjoying in that atmosphere,” mentioned Beard, including that he needs the Pink Raiders nothing however the perfect whereas respecting the followers and everybody in Lubbock.

As for getting an opportunity to savor some enchiladas or BBQ sandwiches, that may most likely have to attend for an additional time.

“I like the meals in West Texas, in Lubbock,” Beard mentioned. “This will likely be extra of a enterprise journey, so it’ll most likely be one other a type of catered sort of fluffy meals.”


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