Arkansas will not be coached by Chris Beard next season.

The Ole Miss coach and reported top target of the Razorbacks has decided to remain in Oxford. The decision was first reported by several outlets, including college basketball reporter Jeff Goodman. And it was confirmed shortly thereafter by Beard himself, who tweeted there are “great times ahead” for Ole Miss basketball and he is “just getting started.”

The former Texas Tech and Texas coach just wrapped up his first season in Oxford, leading the Rebels to a 20-12 record and their best finish in league play since the 2020-21 season. Midway through December, they even cracked the AP Top 25 for the first time since the 2018-19 season.

Beard also took the Red Raiders to a national championship game and a school-record 31 wins during the 2018-19 season.

Arkansas fans were hopeful the program — which had made 3 consecutive Sweet 16 appearances prior to this season — had enough upward momentum that it could pull Beard away from an Ole Miss program that has just 2 NCAA Tournament wins in the last 23 years. The Beard wasn’t seriously interested served as a bit of a shock to some.

Musselman’s departure was abrupt. USC coach Andy Enfield left to take the SMU coaching job on the heels of a poor season but seemingly firm foundation in Los Angeles. He claimed afterward the chance to coach in the ACC influenced his decision, going so far as to say he wouldn’t have taken the job if not for SMU’s conference switch.

And USC moved quickly to swipe Musselman away from the Razorbacks. Musselman was introduced to the press in Los Angeles on Friday. He told reporters he was happy at Arkansas, but the chance to return to California (played at San Diego, 3 previous coaching stints in the state) made USC feel like a dream job.

“It’s one of the best basketball jobs in the country,” Musselman said of Arkansas. “We believe with all the things going on with the USC brand, with going into the Big Ten, this is an incredible fit for us as a family.”

Musselman’s first 4 seasons in Fayetteville all featured at least 20 wins. But this year’s 16-17 campaign produced some uncertainty about his future. Arkansas athletic director Hunter Yurachek posted a video on social media last week in an apparent attempt to tamp down speculation about a change, in which he steps onto a bus and finds Musselman, whom he asks, “You’re still here?”

The video reportedly didn’t sit well with the coach, as it wasn’t even recently-shot footage but recylced from several years ago.

Now, after seeings its own coach walk out the door and one of its top candidates say no, Arkansas finds itself in a strange spot. According to college basketball insider Jon Rothstein, Kansas State’s Jerome Tang is now the top option on Yurachek’s board.

Tang was a longtime assistant coach at Baylor (2003-22) before taking over as the Kansas State head coach ahead of the 2022-23 season. In Year 1, he led the Wildcats to a 26-10 record and an Elite Eight appearance. This season, the Wildcats went 19-15 and missed the NCAA Tournament.

Related Reading: Who will replace Eric Musselman at Arkansas? Breaking down the top candidates