Chris Beard named next UNLV head coach

(Stephen B. Thornton/Arkansas Democrat-Gazette via AP)

Chris Beard has been named the new head coach at UNLV, the school announced on Monday.

Beard led Arkansas-Little Rock to a 30-5 season in 2015-16, coaching the Trojans to the second round of the NCAA tournament. Beard was a long time assistant coach for Bobby Knight at Texas Tech. He also worked up Pat Knight with the Red Raiders. Five years ago, after Knight was fired, he accepted a job coaching in the ABA, and also worked a season in Division III and two years in Division II before getting to the tournament in his first season at UALR.

Beard will replace Dave Rice, who was fired by UNLV three games into conference play. Todd Simon was UNLV’s interim head coach for the last two months, but he recently accepted a position as the head coach at Southern Utah.

The move came days after UNLV very publicly tried to woo Mick Cronin to vome to Vegas from Cincinnati. The Rebels also pursued New Mexico State head coach Marvin Menzies.