Sometimes the best anecdotes leak out when coaches and players get peppered with questions from different reporters than they are accustomed.
Texas Tech coach Chris Beard was full of them Thursday afternoon as he dove into his relationship with Mark Adams, an assistant coach that has worked with him at his last two stops and has earned a great deal of credit for the Red Raiders’ stifling defense.
Beard and Adams go back much further, however, and they discovered that they mutually enjoyed going to late-night movies as a diversion from their jobs. So they began going together.
“I got screwed every time,” said Beard. “I’m sure he’ll tell some of you all different, but I had to pay for the tickets and concessions. He would always tell me he forgot his wallet in the car and that kind of deal.”
The two coaches became close friends as they worked their way up the college coaching ranks before Beard get offered the job at Arkansas-Little Rock in 2015 and brought Adams along. A year later, Beard got the gig at Texas Tech (maybe making it easier to afford the ticket-concession double whammy). Naturally, he brought Adams with once again.
The promotion brought Beard full circle. He had been an assistant at Texas Tech for 10 years from 2001-11 while Adams was a head coach at Howard College. That’s when the two first started seeing movies — and had their most memorable trip to the theater.
“We got there one night, and we were going to go to the 10:35
show at the Cinemark 16,” Beard recounted. “It really didn’t matter what movie it was, but the only movie left was Sex and the City. I remember kind of looking at him like, man, I don’t know about this, Coach. He looked around.
“‘There’s only three cars in the parking lot. That’s Bill who runs the place, and I think that car’s been there for two weeks.’
“‘All right, let’s go see Sex and the City.’
“So this was the only time that we didn’t sit right next to each other at the 10:35 movie. So we thought we were good, but then right before the lights went down, about four or five other people walked in the movie theater. Me and Coach, we felt a little insecure. But I’m actually not against Sex and the City. I thought it was a great show. … I’m just against going to the 10:35 movie with another friend of mine and watching Sex and the City.”
Beard keeps Adams around for more than their theater outings. As the mastermind behind Texas Tech’s defense, he’s a big reason why they’re in the hunt for the National Championship. The Red Raiders rank second in the country in opponent’s field-goal percentage. They’ll be tasked with shutting down Michigan State Saturday night at U.S. Bank Stadium.
“There’s only a few guys in our game like that that can think of things that aren’t already going on,” Beard said. “Most people in college basketball, I think, steal things from the NBA. Coach Adams comes up with his own mind. There’s a lot of people that have the information in their mind, but what makes Coach Adams special is now he can communicate it to others, whether it be the staff or the players. He’s the most disciplined guy I’ve ever known, but he’s also a players’ coach. He’s one of the best coaches in college basketball, and I’m proud to stand on this stage and sit on this stage and talk about him.”