Butch Beard was an assistant coach with the Dallas Mavericks, under head coach Jim Cleamons, during the 1996-1997 and 1997-1998 seasons.
Beard was the 1965 Mr. Basketball in the state of Kentucky. Staying local to play college ball, he attended the University of Louisville where he was a three time first team All-Missouri Valley Conference selection.
In the 1969 draft he was a first round selection of both the Atlanta Hawks of the NBA and the Dallas Chaparrals of the ABA.
He signed with the Hawks and also played with Cleveland, Seattle, Golden State and New York during a ten-year NBA career. Highlights included being named an All-Star in 1972 and winning the NBA Championship with the Knicks in 1975.
Following his successful playing career, Beard spent much of the '80s as a broadcast analyst for his former team the New York Knicks. In 1990 he moved into coaching and was named Head Coach of the men's basketball team at Howard University. He was there for four seasons when his opportunity came to coach in the NBA.
For two seasons (1994-1996), Beard was Head Coach for the New Jersey Nets. It was after his stint there that, on June 27, 1996, he was hired by Mavericks Coach Jim Cleamons to be an assistant. He was with the Mavs for a season-and-a-half before being relieved of his duties on December 5, 1997.
He moved on to the Washington Wizards as an assistant coach for one season before returning to the college ranks, once again as Head Coach at Morgan State University.