Coach Beard Womble Center Mural

"It's an April Fool's joke," student Carson Maher said.

"I'm sad, I hope it's not true. And if it is true, UT? Ew. Horns down," Texas Tech freshman Nadia Sanchez said.

Red Raider fans are in disbelief that their beloved basketball coach is leaving Lubbock.

Some, even feeling betrayed and fired up by the decision to cross enemy lines.

"It's his life. If he wants to be a traitor. We burnt down a whole city for him," one student said.

"He was so close to the fans and the students, but to betray us with our rival school," freshman Titus Kinnear said.

"I really held him in high respect. I was like, Beard was our guy. Even though we lost this year, he was building our roster," graduate student Antonio Pagan said. "Him leaving is just lame, he was like I'll take the money and the prestige of UT and like, just leave us high and dry," he added.

But other say there are no bad feelings, but they are bummed to see Beard go.

"I just think it was really heartbreaking that he was going to leave Tech, but I know this was such a good opportunity for him and he was a UT grad, so I'm really excited for his future," freshman Sydney Anderson said. "Tech's going to be missing him a ton and he's just part of our Red Raider family," she said.

"A lot of people that I know go to the games to see him. I know I do; I love to see him at the games. He just seems like a fun guy. So, it kind of stinks to see him go. But he's a cool guy and a good coach," Texas Tech junior Jordan McNeill said.

The big concern is the future track record of a team that has been on the up since Beard came into the picture.

"I feel like no one is going to want to join Texas Tech when they can join under Chris Beard at Texas," Kinnear said.

But not everyone has lost the faith just yet.

"I mean, Texas, they need the help. Beard is a great coach and they could use it, they could benefit from it. I don't think Texas Tech is going to have a problem without him. I still think we're going to be a better team than Texas," McNeill said.

Athletics director Kirby Hocutt praised red raider fans and said he expects the fan base to overpower Longhorn fans at rivalry games next season.

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