Ole Miss

Ole Miss, Chris Beard Commit to New Contract

Credit: Ole Miss Athletics

After guiding the Rebel basketball team to its first 20-win season in five years and an eight-win improvement, Ole Miss and head coach Chris Beard will continue their upward trajectory and have agreed on a new contract, it was announced Wednesday by Vice Chancellor for Intercollegiate Athletics Keith Carter. 

“The future of Ole Miss Basketball could not be brighter under Coach Beard’s leadership,” Carter said. “His impact on every facet of our program was immediately apparent, and it has translated to a new standard of success and a culture that is building every day. He has galvanized Rebel Nation, and particularly our student body, and created a newfound passion for men’s basketball that is felt throughout the entire Ole Miss community. We could not be more excited to strengthen our investment in the program and can’t wait to see what the many years ahead hold with Coach Beard leading our team.”

“I appreciate Chancellor Boyce, Keith and the Ole Miss administration for their belief and support as we continue on our path of building a championship program in Oxford,” Beard said. “I also want to express my gratitude to the Ole Miss fan base, supporters, alumni and our students for their dedication to our players and program. We are just getting started. Great times ahead in the SJB Pavillion and Oxford.”

Hired in March 2023, Beard took over the helm of the Ole Miss program and caught national attention early during his first year with a 13-0 start to the season. Their opening record tied the program record for the longest winning streak of all time, as the Rebels were one of just three teams to make it to 13-0 in all of college basketball.

The team currently owns 20 wins on the season, the 13th time the program has hit that mark since 2000 and the 11th time in the last 18 years. Excitement around Ole Miss Basketball has led to record-breaking attendance records, with their season total setting a program record and was the second-largest increase from last year in the SEC. For the January 30 victory over Mississippi State, the SJB Pavilion was packed with 10,630 fans, the most in program history. Season ticket sales increased by nearly 22 percent in Beard’s first campaign.

Beard stands as one of the premiere coaches in the nation, owning a career win-percentage of 70.2 percent, the 15th-best among active coaches with 10 or more years of experience. The 2019 AP National Coach of the Year has led three different programs to the NCAA Tournament over the previous eight years, and is undefeated in the opening round at 5-0. His all-time record in the NCAA Tournament is 11-5 (.688), highlighted by a run to the 2019 National Championship game with Texas Tech.

He is a four time conference coach of the year recipient, and has compiled numerous top-10 nationally-ranked recruiting classes during his time at the Division-I level.

Success in year two under Beard has been evident throughout his coaching career. At Angelo State, he jumped from 19 wins in year one to 28 in year two and reached the round of 16 at the NCAA Division II Tournament. He then increased his win total by nine in year two at Texas Tech, leading the Red Raiders to the Elite Eight. Following his first campaign at Texas, Beard began the next season with convincing victories over No. 2 Gonzaga and No. 7 Creighton, earning a national ranking as high as No. 2.

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