Published: Sun, March 19, 2017
Sport | By Scott Davis

IL confirms the hiring of Brad Underwood

IL confirms the hiring of Brad Underwood

The Cowboys hired Underwood a year ago, and he took the program to the NCAA tournament this season, losing to MI in the first round Friday. Before that Underwood, 53, spent three years at Stephen F. Austin, where he went 89-14, won the Southland Conference three times and made three NCAA Tournaments. In his lone season at Oklahoma State, Underwood was 20-13 and his team earned a bid by winning 10 of 11 games from January 21-Feb. 25.

Underwood had just completed his first season at Oklahoma State. Former Groce assistant Jamall Walker has been serving as interim coach for the tournament. "Please join me in welcoming Brad and the Underwood family to Champaign-Urbana and the University of IL". After a 20-13 season and first round loss to MI in the NCAA tournament, Underwood is moving on to IL. The announcement comes roughly 26 hours after the end of Oklahoma State's season. IL likely made him a significantly better offer.

The Cowboys were a top-10 team in scoring during the regular season, averaging 85.5 points per game. I want to thank Josh Whitman for the opportunity to join the Fighting Illini family and look forward to working with him to build a championship program.

Underwood's official statement through an email from Oklahoma State when he officially signed to be the new head coach in Oklahoma State on March 21, 2016 read, "Oklahoma State has unparalleled tradition, history and culture".

Earning a little more than $1 million in his deal at Oklahoma State, Underwood will more than double his salary with the Illini.

On the periphery was Kansas State.

"Coaching basketball at the University of IL is a once-in-lifetime opportunity", Underwood said. Walker holds many strings with recruiting around the state, and I feel that with Walker, Underwood can keep the current recruiting class - which ranks eighth in 2017. The Illini have reached the second round of the NIT and will face Boise State on Monday.

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