Ole Miss coach Chris Beard agrees to new contract ahead of SEC tournament

The Rebels will open the SEC tournament on Thursday against Texas A&M

He’s not even through his first full season with the program, but Ole Miss seems very happy with head coach Chris Beard.

Ole Miss announced Wednesday that Beard had agreed to a new contract. Beard, who was hired last March, initially received a four-year deal with the Rebels. He was slated to make $3.35 million next season, per The Associated Press. Terms of his new contract are not known, though Mississippi state law limits contracts to a maximum of four years.

“We are just getting started,” Beard said in a statement. “Great times ahead in the SJB Pavilion and Oxford.”

[Free bracket contests for men's & women's tourneys for shot at $25K]

Beard was fired from Texas last January after he was charged with felony domestic violence after an alleged dispute with his fiancée at their home in Austin. The charges were dropped about a month later, however, after the Travis County District Attorney said they couldn’t be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Beard’s fiancée also said in a statement that he had acted in self-defense in the incident, and that she had initiated the confrontation.

Chris Beard, who was fired from Texas last year, is wrapping up his first season at Ole Miss this spring.
Chris Beard, who was fired from Texas last year, is wrapping up his first season at Ole Miss this spring. (Eakin Howard/Getty Images) (Eakin Howard via Getty Images)

Texas promoted Rodney Terry to replace Beard on an interim basis last season, and he was then named the head coach ahead of this season. Beard was then hired by Ole Miss in March to replace Kermit Davis. The Rebels held just a 10-18 record and were only 2-13 in the SEC when they fired Davis last season.

Beard immediately turned the program around this season. He led the Rebels to 13 straight wins to open the year. While they’ve not beaten a ranked opponent, the Rebels ended the season with a 20-11 record — which marked their best finish in the last five years. They’ll take on Texas A&M in their first game at the SEC tournament Thursday night. While it will likely take a big run in Nashville to secure their first NCAA tournament berth since 2019, Beard appears to at least have the program back on track.

"The future of Ole Miss Basketball could not be brighter under coach Beard's leadership," athletic director Keith Carter said in a statement. "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."