IL hires Oklahoma State's Brad Underwood, who's in for a nice raise

Mar 19, 2017, 00:43
IL hires Oklahoma State's Brad Underwood, who's in for a nice raise

The university announced the hiring just one day after Underwood's Cowboys lost to MI in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Previously, he had spent three seasons at Stephen F. Austin, with trips to the NCAA tournament all three years and two first-round wins.

According to an ESPN report, Underwood will more than double his salary at IL. His contract was worth about $1 million a year at Oklahoma State. The Cowboys got off to a rough start to Big 12 play before rallying down the stretch to land an NCAA Tournament bid.

IL has not said whether or not Underwood will be with the team on Monday for their second-round NIT game against Boise State. Underwood's tenure with Stephen F. Austin ended with a loss at the buzzer to Notre Dame and he took the Oklahoma State job shortly thereafter.

"I am excited to welcome Brad Underwood, his wife Susan, and their three children to the Fighting Illini family", Whitman said in a statement.

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.

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A week ago, IL fired John Groce, who went 96-75 in five seasons.

The Brad Underwood Era at Oklahoma State is over, less than a year before it began. All of that gave Underwood a solid foundation when he finally became a Division I head coach at Stephen F. Austin in 2013. Hardin-Simmons was the first college job for Lou Henson, the Fighting Illini's all-time winningest coach, and whose name permanently adorns the court at State Farm Center.

Underwood's second SFA team went 29-5 in 2015, also advancing to the NCAA Tournament. Oklahoma State's offensive efficiency was ranked No. 1 by Ken Pomeroy.

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.