Smart’s expected departure from Texas leaves the program with a massive hole to fill. However, it didn’t take very long for people to mention their top candidate to replace Smart.
At this moment, Texas Tech head coach Chris Beard is being mentioned as the best candidate for the job. There’s no indication from Beard that he actually wants to leave the Red Raiders, but that probably won’t stop the Longhorns from trying.
“Once it gets finalized with Shaka’s exit, I expect Texas to full-court press Chris Beard to gauge his interest level,” Kirk Bohls of the Austin American-Statesman said.
Once it gets finalized with Shaka's exit, I expect Texas to full-court press Chris Beard to gauge his interest level.
— Kirk Bohls (@kbohls) March 26, 2021
Jeff Goodman of Stadium also had the same idea, tweeting “Now the big question: Does Chris Beard leave Lubbock for Austin?”
Now the big question: Does Chris Beard leave Lubbock for Austin??
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) March 26, 2021
ESPN’s Jeff Borzello provided an update on the structure of Beard’s contract. He has a lofty buyout in his deal in the event that he goes to another Big 12 school, like Texas.
“Chris Beard’s buyout to go to another Big 12 school drops to $4 million on April 1,” Borzello said. “$2 million for any school outside the Big 12. Just, you know, in case anyone is randomly wondering this morning.”
Chris Beard's buyout to go to another Big 12 school drops to $4 million on April 1, sources told ESPN. $2 million for any school outside the Big 12.
Just, you know, in case anyone is randomly wondering this morning.
— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) March 26, 2021
Beard has been very successful thus far at Texas Tech, owning a 112-55 record and taking the program all the way to the national title game in 2019.
Do you think Chris Beard should consider the Texas basketball job if Shaka Smart is in fact heading to Marquette?