Rams welcome new coach

Beard’s coaching experience “speaks for itself”

By Stephen Cogan
On March 29, 2013

  • Junior Chelsea Gibson celebrates after scoring a point for the ‘Belles in their 3 - 1 home win against Incarnate Word, Tuesday. Gibson recorded 14 kills in the match to bring her season total to 192. Pam Belcher

The first thing that the new men's basketball coach said at his press conference was that the onething that ASU fans will notice about him is that he has great enthusiasm for the game.

For the next 15 minutes, Chris Beard enthusiastically told everyone in the conference room that he was happy to be given this opportunity.

"I am excited to be here today," the clean-shaven Beard said. "My wife and my three daughters are excited as well."

Beard said he wished his family was here, but his daughters were in school with their mother watching over them.

"I know today people expect me to talk a lot about recruiting and ask me questions about it," Beard said. "But if my wife was here, I wouldn't have to answer any questions about recruiting because you'll know I can recruit well once you look at me and then look at her."

ASU is not only getting a basketball coach who has a looker for a wife, but also a man who has a 119-36 head coaching record and was a disciple under the legendary Bob Knight while at Texas Tech University.

What makes Beard a perfect fit is that ASU's athletic director Sean Johnson and ASU's President Dr. Brian May have the same visions in their sights.

"We have a vision here to graduate every student athlete," Beard said. "We have a vision here to win basketball games andwin championships. We have a vision to have the basketball team not be just a basketball team, but part of the community and to be part of the university."

The first thing Beard said he will do is to get to know and build a rapport with his players. 

Beard takes over a team that was 7-19 with a dismal 1-11 road record, but Johnson is confident in Beard's talents and abilities to turn this team around.

"I just think the breadth of his experience speaks for itself," Johnson said. "He's coached at just about every level of basketball you can think of except the NBA and he's coached professional basketball before."

Beard coached the American Basketball Association team, the South Carolina Warriors, for one year and led them to a 29-2 record.

"The fact that I've known him for 15 years helps," Johnson said. "Chris has been successful really at everywhere he's been. I just think he's the total package."

What really helped ASU get a coach like Chris Beard is that ASU has a stellar reputation in athletics.

"This is a great job," Johnson said. "We've got great facilities, a great university and agreat town; there are no negatives to ASU.

Johnson said he had been in some places where the university had weaknesses whether it was program history, a less than ideal facilities or even an unlikeable location, but ASU doesn't have those problems.

Around 90 men applied for the position according to Johnson, and he said a few dozen have applied for the women's head basketball coaching position. Choosing the right coach will be the next item on Johnson's agenda.

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