College basketball: IL names Brad Underwood as new head coach

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

"Brad's teams play a fast, aggressive style and show unyielding toughness", IL athletic director Josh Whitman said in a statement announcing the hire Saturday.

After just one season with Oklahoma State, Brad Underwood is leaving Stillwater to become the head coach at IL. Underwood's teams averaged 29.7 wins, reached the tournament in each of his three seasons with the Lumberjacks by winning the Southland Conference Tournament and advanced in two of those years.

Underwood was at Oklahoma State for just one year, guiding the Cowboys to a 20-13 record and fifth-place finish in the Big 12.

Brad Underwood, who coached Oklahoma State this past season, has been tabbed to replace John Groce.

"Coaching basketball at the University of IL is a once-in-lifetime opportunity", Underwood said.

Brad Underwood will be wearing a new shade of orange.

Underwood was the lowest paid coach in the Big 12 last season, making just $1mil/year to lead the Pokes, and while contract details are not now available, it is assumed Underwood will be receiving a significant raise to make the move to Campaign.

Underwood was making $1 million per year at Oklahoma State. However, during my time at Western Illinois, I always saw the Illinois coaching job as one of the truly best in the nation. Oklahoma State came on strong during the second half of the season, winning 10 of 11 games from January 21-Feb. 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 think it would it would shock most people because obviously Brad was on a roll, I thought, in Stillwater". He went to Columbia with Martin after serving on his bench for five seasons as an assistant at Kansas State, with his final season elevated to associate head coach.

Underwood was to make $1.1 in 2018 and escalate up to $1.6 million by 2021, a low figure in the Big 12. Underwood is familiar with the area after spending 10 seasons as an assistant at Western Illinois, which is about a 2½-hours drive from the Illinois campus. 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.

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