The Washington Wizards likely will hire former Howard University and New Jersey Nets coach Butch Beard to be one of three assistant coaches under new head coach Gar Heard, a team source indicated. Beard is scheduled to be interviewed Monday.
Heard said last week that he would like to have his staff in place by the June 30 draft at MCI Center. However, all of his assistants could be in place by the end of the week, the source said. One of the coaches will be a part-time scout, Heard said last week.
Beard most recently coached the St. Louis franchise of the fledgling International Basketball League. Both he and the Wizards are awaiting permission from the team to conduct an interview.
Beard, 52, would bring two years of NBA head coaching experience to the bench--two more than Heard, who served as an assistant coach in the NBA for 12 seasons. Beard coached the Nets from 1994 to 1996, posting a 60-104 record.
Prior to joining the Nets, Beard was the head coach at Howard from 1990 to '94. He took the Bison to the NCAA tournament in 1992.
Heard said he wanted at least one former NBA player on the bench and Beard fits that bill. A first-round draft pick of the Atlanta Hawks in 1969, Beard was an all-star in 1972 and won an NBA championship with the Golden State Warriors in 1975. He also played for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Seattle SuperSonics and New York Knicks.
Heard wants one of his coaches to work with the back court and another with the front court. Heard, a former forward in his 11 years in the NBA, focused on coaching forwards and centers in his years as an assistant. As a head coach, he said he would have to broaden his duties and not spend as much time with specific positions.
Heard is in the process of moving from Detroit, where he worked last season with the Pistons.
CAPTION: Former Howard coach Butch Beard, center, will be interviewed for job assisting new Wizards coach Gar Heard.