Brad Underwood Leaves Oklahoma State for Illinois

By Chris Lauderback on March 18, 2017 at 7:28 pm
Brad Underwood likes Illinois this much.

Having recently sent former Ohio State assistant John Groce packing, Illinois wasted little time finding its next head coach in Brad Underwood. 

Underwood spent exactly one season with the Cowboys before taking his talents to Champaign. 

Oklahoma State earned an NCAA bid after a 20-12 season but the Cowboys fell to Michigan, 92-91, in the opening round. 

Underwood has a career record of 109-27 (.801) in four seasons as a head coach. Prior to the Oklahoma State gig, he led Stephen F. Austin to three straight NCAA tournaments. 

Bolting from Oklahoma State after just one season is noteworthy considering Illiinois hasn't exactly set the world on fire in recent seasons but with the amount of talent in nearby Chicago and Underwood's fairly modest salary in Stillwater (five-year, $6.3 million), it sounds like it was a slam dunk for the coach:

"Coaching basketball at the University of Illinois is a once-in-lifetime opportunity," Underwood said in the statement. "The players, fans and administration at Oklahoma State have been absolutely incredible, and I want to thank them for the support they've given me and my family over the last year. However, during my time at Western Illinois, I always saw the Illinois coaching job as one of the truly best in the nation.

"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. I can't wait to get started with our team. Next season can't get here fast enough for me!"

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