AUSTIN (KXAN) – One of Chris Beard’s top priorities before coaching a game for Texas is to help make fans as passionate about hardwood Longhorns as they are about the football field.
He plans to do so by making sure fans know his team, which can be difficult to do, as there are only four players on the team last year. The rest of the list is made up of new faces in freshmen and transfers, of which there are seven.
“I think as our fans get to know these guys, personally, that’s where the excitement comes in,” Beard said. “When fans relate emotionally to a team, in my opinion, it’s one of the big steps in how to build a fan base.”
The first new face Beard introduced to the fan base on Wednesday is Timmy Allen, a 6-foot, 6-inch striker. He spent the first three seasons of his college career in Utah, where just last season he earned a spot on the All-Pac-12 first team.
“Timmy is a ball player, so I think he’s going to be a professional,” Beard said. “It is not defined by the position or by a set of competencies. He is an elite competitor. He’s one of those guys who has it. It’s hard. “
Despite Allen’s success last season with the Utes, the team still struggled for a 12-13 season, which eventually led to the dismissal of head coach Larry Krystkowiak. This change of coach made Allen want to move from Salt Lake City.
“I just wanted to compete at the highest level,” Allen said. “We fought and I’m a winner and I’m looking forward to winning championships. I’m looking to be surrounded by the best players in the country every day, and that’s something new for me here. “
There is no doubt that the Longhorns have this talent. After Beard finished building his seven-sided roster from the transfer portal, national experts have the Longhorns linked as an infallible top-10 team, if not the No. 1 preseason team in the country.
“Everyone wants to be so great here that the practice energy and intensity are at the next level,” Allen said. “It simply came to our notice then. This is what I want every day, I want this hard practice every day, I want to be trained every day, I want to be trained every day and I want to be surrounded by great people and players every day, so being here is just a good fit for me ”.
Still, for Allen, the trip to Austin has been full of peaks and valleys dating back to high school.
As a four-star recruit in Mesa, Arizona, Allen had offers from all over the country, including Beard back when he was at Texas Tech. But after his mother died of cancer when he was a junior, he took some basketball breaks.
“I just slipped a bit into my game and my approach,” Allen said. “Utah was one of the schools that remained throughout this period. There was nothing I could do to be faithful to them. With the change of coach, it was my best option to go somewhere else.
The fact that another place is Texas, he knows his mother would be proud of.
“If I was sitting here today, I wouldn’t think I was at the University of Texas,” Allen said. “I wouldn’t believe it either, but I know he’s happier than me here. She has everything to do with why I’m here, what I do and how I do it. She is the heart of my heart. I am her. She lives through me. ”