Illinois Hires Oklahoma State's Brad Underwood
Illinois has hired Oklahoma State head basketball coach Brad Underwood to the same position. The news was first reported by ESPN and confirmed by our John Holcomb.
Illinois has hired Oklahoma State’s Brad Underwood, sources told ESPN.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) March 18, 2017
"Coaching basketball at the University of Illinois is a once-in-lifetime opportunity," Underwood said via an Illinois press release. "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 jobs as one of the truly best in the nation."
Underwood led the Pokes to a 20-13 record and an NCAA Tournament appearance in his first season in Stillwater after signing a five-year $6.3 million contract with OSU last March. The Cowboys ranked No. 6 in the nation in scoring this past season with 85.7 points per game.
Underwood met with OSU's players on Saturday to let him know of his decision, according to our John Holcomb.
“We are saddened and disappointed in Brad’s decision to leave Oklahoma State after one year,” Oklahoma State athletic director Mike Holder said in a press release. “We are trying to digest this news. We wish Brad and his family well. In the meantime, we will consider the situation and move forward."
Underwood will reportedly make triple his current salary at Illinois and takes over an Illini team that went 19-14 this past season. He has ties to the Illinois area after spending time as an assistant coach at Western Illinois from 1992-2003.