AUSTIN, Texas (KTSM) — Former UTEP men’s basketball head coach (2018-21) Rodney Terry was named Texas men’s basketball interim head coach after Chris Beard was fired by the university on Thursday.

Texas fired Beard, who faces a felony domestic family violence charge after his fiancée told police he strangled and bit her. The school sent Beard’s attorney a letter that said the coach was “unfit” for the position. Beard had been suspended without pay since Dec. 12. He had five years left on a seven-year guaranteed contract. Police responded to an emergency call to Beard’s house. The woman initially told officers that Beard choked her from behind, bit her and hit her during an argument. Beard’s attorney has said Beard is innocent and that his fiancée later denied she was choked.

“This has been a difficult situation that we’ve been diligently working through. Today I informed Mr. Beard of our decision to terminate him effective immediately. We thank Coach Rodney Terry for his exemplary leadership both on and off the court at a time when our team needed it most,” Texas Athletics Director Chris Del Conte wrote in a statement. “We are grateful he will remain the acting head coach for the remainder of the season. We are proud of our student-athletes, coaches and staff, who throughout this difficult time have continued to make us proud to be Longhorns.”

Terry has been serving as the acting head coach in place for Beard since he was suspended. Under Terry, the Longhorns (12-1, 1-1 Big 12) are 5-1. Texas won its first five games before suffering a 116-103 loss to Kansas State on Tuesday, their first under Terry.

Terry’s last head coaching role before Texas came when he was at UTEP. Terry was the UTEP men’s basketball head coach for three seasons from 2018-2021. UTEP went 38-47 in three seasons under Terry. The Miners went 29-27 in his final two years in El Paso. Terry departed the Sun City in Apr. 2021 to join Chris Beard at Texas as an associate head coach.

Terry, who once was on the sidelines trying to get the Miners to right about the .500-win percentage mark, will now lead No. 6 Texas for the remainder of the season. The Longhorns’ next game is on Saturday, Jan. 7. Texas will play at Oklahoma State. Tipoff is at 11:00 a.m. CT/10:00 a.m. MT.