Ole Miss named Chris Bird head men’s basketball coach

5 hours ago
Ole Miss Athletics

Photo: Ole Miss Athletics

OXFORD, Miss. – A four-time conference coach of the year and 2019 national coach of the year, Chris Byrd will bring his many years of success to Oxford and the SEC as he is named the 23rd head men’s basketball coach at Ole. Miss Monday by Associate Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Keith Carter.

The public performance will be Tuesday at 5:00 PM CT in the Sandy and John Black Pavilion at Ole Miss. The event will be open to the public and will be televised live on The Paul Finebaum Show on SEC Network and streamed in its entirety on SEC Network+. Doors open at 4:30 p.m

“We are excited to welcome Coach Bird and his daughters Avery, Ella and Margo to the Ole Miss family,” Carter said. “We thoroughly evaluated a number of outstanding candidates and there is no doubt that Coach Baird is one of the top coaches in the country. Observing and talking to a number of people on and off the court, it is clear that he is one of the best coaches around. the right person to lead our team to greatness.

“At every stop in his career, Coach Baird has proven to be a program builder and dynamic leader whose teams deliver a tireless effort. He is a tireless recruiter and develops talent to reach their greatest potential. He has coached at several levels of college basketball. and competed for championships at each school. Simply put, Coach Byrd is a winner and we have the best years of Ole Miss Basketball ahead of us under his leadership.”

Bard has led three different programs to the NCAA Tournament since 2016, including an appearance in the 2019 National Championship Game and the Elite Eight last year at Texas Tech. As a head coach, he has a 237-98 record for one of the best winning percentages among active coaches in the country at 70.7 percent. Baird also has an 11-5 career mark in the NCAA Tournament, highlighted by a perfect 5-0 record in the opening round.

“I am honored to join the Ole Miss family and excited to begin at this great university,” said Byrd. “I cannot express how grateful I am to Chancellor Boyce, Keith Carter and the rest of the search committee for their faith in me to lead this program. I’m really looking forward to being an active part of the Oxford community. I know: we have one of the best venues in the country in the SJB Pavilion and we will work tirelessly to build a championship caliber program. I look forward to connecting with our players and recruits and starting this journey together. Hotty Toddy! “

Most recently, Byrd was the head coach at his alma mater, the University of Texas, where he posted a 29-13 record over two years, including a 22-12 record and a second-round finish in the 2022 NCAA Tournament. first season. All five of his starters earned all-conference honors that year, highlighted by their defensive prowess, as Texas led the Big 12 and ranked 10th nationally in scoring defense (60.6 points allowed per game) and 22- th in the country in circulation. margin (+3.4).

Prior to his tenure at Texas, Baird spent five seasons at Texas Tech, where he took a program that saw losing seasons five to five years prior to his arrival and turned them into a national power. Compiling a 112-55 (.671) record in five seasons, he led the program to new heights, reaching the Elite Eight in just his second season before leading the Red Raiders to the national title game in his third year. In his fourth year without a postseason due to COVID-19, he finished his Texas Tech career with 18 wins and an appearance in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Prior to his tenure at the Big 12, Byrd was the head coach for one season at Little Rock, where he went 30-5, won the Sun Belt Conference title and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament. He previously spent two years as the head coach at Angelo State from 2013-2015 and one season as the head coach at McMurry.

Byrd has coached three NBA draft picks since 2018, including 2018 No. 16 pick Jaire Smith of the Phoenix Suns and No. 6 pick Jarrett Culver of the Suns in 2019.

Byrd has been ranked among the best in the country on the recruiting trail, earning top-10 class rankings in 2022, 2020 and 2018. His final class of 2022 ranked Texas the No. 6 class in the nation according to 247Sports and the No. 8 by Rivals, his final 2020 class at Texas Tech earned similar accolades at No. 7 by Rivals and No. 11 by 247Sports. Prior to his national runner-up season at Texas Tech in 2018-19, his recruiting class was ranked No. 8 among opponents.

He spent 10 seasons on the Texas Tech staff after being hired as an assistant coach under legendary coach Bob Knight in 2001, and spent three years as an assistant head coach from 2008 to 2011. Byrd was the head coach at Seminole State. college in 2000-01, going 25-6. He spent the previous season as the head coach at Fort Scott Community College and was an assistant at North Texas for two seasons and Abilene Christian for one season (1996-97).

Baird graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from Texas in 1995, where he also served as a student assistant under head coach Tom Penders. He went on to earn his master’s degree in education from Abilene Christian University in 1998, after spending the year before that as an assistant professor at Incarnate Word.


1995-96Body language (graduate assistant), 20-9
1996-97Abilene Christian (assistant coach), 15-12
1997-98North Texas (assistant coach), 5-9 p.m
1998-99North Texas (assistant coach), 4-12
1999-2000Fort Scott CC (head coach), 19-12, NJCAA Regional
2000-01Seminole State College (head coach), 25-6
2001-02Texas Tech (assistant coach), 23-9, NCAA Round of 64
2002-03Texas Tech (assistant coach), 22-13, NIT 3rd place
2003-04Texas Tech (Assistant Coach), 23-11, NCAA Round of 32 2004-05. Texas Tech (assistant coach), 22-11, NCAA Sweet 16 2005-06Texas Tech (assistant coach), 3-5 p.m
2006-07Texas Tech (Assistant Coach), 21-13, NCAA Round of 64
2007-08Texas Tech (assistant coach), 4-3 p.m
2008-09Texas Tech (Associate Head Coach), 2-7 p.m
2009-10Texas Tech (Associate Head Coach), 19-16, NIT quarterfinals
2010-11Texas Tech (Associate Head Coach), 1-7 p.m
2012-13McMurry (head coach), 19-10, NCAA Central Region
2013-14Angelo State (head coach), 19-9
2014-15Angelo State (head coach), 28-6, NCAA Division II Sweet 16
2015-16Little Rock (head coach), 30-5, NCAA Round of 32
2016-17Texas Tech (head coach), 18-14
2017-18Texas Tech (head coach), 27-10, NCAA Elite Eight
2018-19Texas Tech (head coach), 31-7, NCAA runner-up
2019-20Texas Tech (head coach), 18-13 (no postseason, COVID-19)
2020-21Texas Tech (head coach), 18-11, NCAA Round of 32
2021-22Texas (head coach), 22-12, NCAA Round of 32 2022-23. Texas (head coach), 7-1


  • Has led three different programs to the NCAA Tournament since 2016
  • 2019 AP Coach of the Year
  • Led Texas Tech to the 2019 National Championship Game
  • Has a 70.7% winning percentage as a head coach
  • 11-5 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, including a 5-0 record in opening round games
  • Four-time conference coach of the year award winner
  • Top-10 nationally ranked recruiting classes by Rivals in 2022 (No. 8, Texas), 2020 (No. 7, Texas Tech) and 2018 (No. 8, Texas Tech).
  • 2015-16 Sun Belt Regular Season and Tournament Champions in Little Rock
  • 2016 NCAA Tournament first round double overtime game against No. 5 Purdue in Little Rock
  • 2018-19 Big 12 Regular Season Co-Chairs

Source link