- Photo by Danny Meyer
Former Ram’s head basketball coach Chris Beard began living the “Tough times pass. Tough people last.” philosophy more than a decade ago while coaching another team. Although he didn’t coin the phrase, it stuck with him and became a mantra. From the moment he and current head coach Cinco Boone arrived at ASU, they began drilling this into the Rams’ psyche.
“You have to reflect and learn from the adversity and make the next day the best day.”
Demario Mayfield, 2014–15 team member
“It really symbolizes what our teams are about,” Beard said during the 2015 season. “We don’t claim to be the best coaches or that we always have the top talent in every game. But what we do take pride in is that there is not going to be a team that is tougher than we are.”
Beard was named the Lone Star Conference Coach of the Year after helping guide a group of players who came from many different places and various backgrounds to the winningest season in program history. Even though many coaches in the country had given up on them, Beard and then associate coach Boone saw their character and talent and believed in them.
“Basketball is similar to life in that you may have five straight games you win, which is similar to life, where you may have five good days in a row,” said Demario Mayfield, who was a senior last year. “But in that sixth game or sixth day, you struggle and have a bad day. You can’t sulk about any of that stuff, though. You have to reflect and learn from the adversity and make the next day the best day.”
As Boone became the sixth head coach in ASU’s history when Beard left to lead the men’s basketball program at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock, he hinted at continuing the formula that took the Rams to last year’s NCAA Division II Sweet 16.
“We will recruit student-athletes who are passionate about the game of basketball and who are serious about obtaining their degrees,” Boone said. “Combined with their talent, our staff will value high character and unselfish, tough and competitive kids. We look forward to winning a lot of ballgames with these types of players.”