Texas basketball coach Chris Beard arrested on assault charge

Texas men's basketball coach Chris Beard was arrested Monday morning on a felony domestic violence charge.

Beard, 49, was arrested by police in Austin, Texas, and booked at 4:18 a.m. CDT on a third-degree charge of "assault of a family/household member, impede breath circulation," or strangulation. He was released from the Travis County jail at 2:44 p.m. after posting a cash bond. Beard's bail had been set at $10,000.

Beard is permitted to communicate with the alleged victim in a non-threatening manner, must stay 200 yards away from the residence where police were called and was told he cannot possess a firearm.

Austin police told ESPN they received a "disturbance hotshot" call, and officers were dispatched to the 1900 block of Vista Lane shortly after midnight Monday. The Austin Police Department's website defines a "hotshot" call as "incidents which are in progress are an immediate threat to life and/or public safety. ... These calls are dispatched immediately."

Beard's attorney, Perry Minton, told the Austin American-Statesman that Beard "is 100% innocent of these charges."

"He should never have been arrested," Minton told the paper. "The complainant wants him released immediately and all charges dismissed. It is truly inconceivable."

Said Texas in a statement: "The University is aware of the situation regarding Chris Beard. We are continuing to gather information and monitoring the legal process."

Texas, ranked seventh overall in the Associated Press poll, is 7-1 and off to its best start in years. The Longhorns are scheduled to host Rice on Monday night.

Beard is in his second season of a seven-year guaranteed contract that pays him more than $5 million per year. Before that, he was 112-55 in five seasons with Texas Tech. He was named The Associated Press coach of the year in 2019 as he guided the Red Raiders to a 31-7 finish and lost in an overtime thriller to Virginia in the national championship game.

His departure for Texas left Texas Tech officials frustrated. Beard said it was a difficult move, but he could not turn down a chance to coach at his alma mater, where he was a student assistant three decades ago.

Earlier this year, Beard led Texas to a first-round victory over Virginia Tech that was the Longhorns' first NCAA tournament win since 2014.

Beard's contract includes a provision under which he can be fired for cause for conduct the administration reasonably determines reflects poorly on the coach, program, school or university system. That includes being charged with a felony.

ESPN's Pete Thamel and The Associated Press contributed to this report.