Current UNLV Basketball head coach and former Texas Tech assistant Chris Beard has emerged as the front-runner to replace Tubby Smith at Texas Tech.

Smith spurned Texas Tech to go to the Memphis Tigers

Chris Beard spent 10 seasons at Texas Tech as an assistant coach and associate head coach under both Bob Knight and Pat Knight from 2001-2011. He then became a head coach at McMurry for the 2012-2013 season.

Beard's NCAA coaching record is 96-30, going 1-1 in NCAA Division I tournament games and 2-1 in NCAA Division II tournament games. He also earned the Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year Award for the 2015-2016 season.

Beard's UNLV buyout is $1 million, while Smith's Texas Tech buyout was $900,000.