Chris Beard Sends Epic Letter to Former Red Raider Players
Zhaire Smith was a blip on the screen at Texas Tech with only one season in Lubbock before he used a strong NCAA tournament to vault himself into the NBA draft as a lottery pick. The NBA has not been kind to Smith after a severe allergic reaction derailed his rookie season and hampered his progress. That hasn't stopped Smith though. After getting traded, cut, and signed by the Memphis Grizzlies, Smith resurfaced on the Memphis Hustle, the Grizzlies G League affiliate.
Back at Texas Tech University, Smith and Jarrett Culver took the Red Raiders by storm, forming tightly with a veteran-laden team to take the Red Raiders to the Elite 8 in Chris Beard's second season with the program. In Smith's lone season as a Red Raider, he averaged nearly 12 points and 5 rebounds, shooting 45 percent from three in limited attempts.
Maybe Zhaire Smith's most memorable moment at Texas Tech (that wasn't the 360 dunk against Florida) came off the court when he and Coach Beard collided during practice and Beard tore his ACL.
Beard this week sent out a package of gear to Smith as a gift to the former Red Raider. The coach reminded Smith that he still loved him even though his leg still hurt. You can see the portion of the letter included with the Double T gear handwritten at the bottom of the note below, which Smith shared on Twitter.
The rest of the letter seems like a form letter to the alumni, but it's very obvious that it was written by Chris Beard. The note is full of motivation, and it's got some epic Coach Beardness worked in, especially the opening paragraph.
Here's the entire note since it's difficult to see in the tweet:
I hope this letter finds you and your family doing well. Here is this year's former player gear box. I hope you like it but if you don't, please remember our "unselfish no entitlement" culture and don't bitch about it.
We appreciate your commitment and loyalty to our program. Let us know when you can return to Lubbock and visit. You are always wanted and needed here as we continue to work towards winning the National Championship and graduating every player.
We move into our new practice facility, The Womble, this spring. I look forward to giving you a tour when you visit next.
2020 and 2021 have been tough years for all of us. The COVID 19 has affected every family. We have lost so many special people in recent months. It definitely is a reminder to all of us how short life is. I want to tell you again how much I appreciate you and love you. If you need anything, let us know.
Process. Discipline. Mental Toughness. Comfortable gets you beat. Consistency. Finish. No Entitlement. Unselfish. No Regrets. Monday Night. Championship Culture. Tuttle. Street Dogs.
What do you want? What are you willing to do to get what you want?
Tough Times Pass, Tough People Last.
The Mental is to the Physical as 4 is to 1.
This is just Zhaire Smith's letter. I bet every former player got a box from Texas Tech, and Coach Beard took the time to personalize every letter that was included.
The letter itself, starting with the word "Process," I'm going to copy word-for-word and put it on my bathroom mirror and read it every morning. In two years, I'll have conquered the world.
The first paragraph is funny, but it's the embodiment of the Chris Beard culture at Texas Tech.
Be thankful. Don't be entitled. Earn what you want.
I know Lubbock loves Chris Beard, but I don't really know if it knows exactly what it has in the guy. He truly lives his culture and is building something great at Texas Tech. 2019 was the blip to the future that just came a few seasons earlier than expected.
The Red Raiders will be back playing on that last Monday night again. Soon.
CHECK IT OUT: 100 sports records and the stories behind them