Illini hires next basketball coach

  • Illini hires next basketball coach

Illini hires next basketball coach

After leading his Oklahoma State Cowboys squad to the NCAA Tournament in his only season as coach, IL has announced it has hired Underwood this afternoon.

Fighting Illini athletic director Josh Whitman welcomed Underwood to the program in a tweet Saturday afternoon.

IL has found its next basketball coach. He led the Cowboys to a 20-win season and a No. 10 seed in the NCAA tournament, where they lost to MI 92-91 in a high-flying first-round game. Previously, he had spent three seasons at Stephen F. Austin, with trips to the NCAA tournament all three years and two first-round wins.

Underwood was as an assistant coach at Western Illinois for 11 seasons and spent one season as the associate head coach at both Kansas State and SC before landing at Stephen F. Austin.

Underwood has four years of head coaching experience under his belt.

It was reported by ESPN's Jeff Goodman on Saturday afternoon that IL men's basketball hired Brad Underwood as its next head coach.

Oklahoma State finished fifth in the Big 12 with a 9-9 conference record in a season where the Big 12 was rated as the best conference in the nation. He was also an assistant coach for the Wildcats from 2006-12.

Multiple sources, including Jeff Goodman of ESPN, were reporting that Underwood is the choice of Illini AD Josh Whitman to replace John Groce, who was sacked last Saturday.

As for Florida point guard Trent Frazier, Underwood and Walker will have to convince him that he is still the guy that can lead the IL men's basketball program to the next level. The announcement comes roughly 26 hours after the end of Oklahoma State's season.

Underwood will reportedly make more than double his salary with IL and takes over an Illini team that went 19-14 this past season. Will Underwood retain current interim head coach Jamall Walker? 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. A source close to the program said Underwood will be retaining assistant coach Jamall Walker, who is now leading the Illini in the NIT as interim coach.

Underwood is a 1986 graduate of Kansas State. But I like K-State.

The Fighting Illini are still alive in the 2017 NIT, however, and will face Boise State on Monday.