Illinois hires Oklahoma State’s Brad Underwood as head coach

1:25 | College Basketball
The Unexpected Perk of Winning March Madness
Saturday March 18th, 2017

Illinois has hired Oklahoma State’s Brad Underwood as the team's next head basketball coach, the school announced Saturday. 

The news was first reported by ESPN's Jeff Goodman.

Underwood was only at Oklahoma State for one season and received a $35,000 bonus for making the NCAA Tournament. He signed a five-year deal worth $6.3 million when he accepted the Cowboys' job after leaving Stephen F. Austin. He earned just over $1 million in his first season.

According to USA Today’s Dan Wolken, Underwood was promised renegotiation of his deal contingent on a successful first year, but those talks never began in earnest down the stretch this season. Oklahoma State was eliminated in the first round of the NCAA tournament with a 91–92 loss to Michigan on Friday. 

According to ESPN’s Andy Katz, Underwood flew back to Stillwater with the team on Friday night after losing to Michigan in the first round of the NCAA tournament, and gave no indication he was leaving. Oklahoma State reportedly learned the news over Twitter.

Underwood is 109–26 in four seasons as a head coach, three at Stephen F. Austin.

Underwood replaces John Groce, who coached the Illini for five seasons. Illinois went 18–14 this season, bowing out against Michigan in the Big Ten tournament. Groce was 95–75 in five seasons, but 39–53 in conference play. The Illini made the NCAA tournament just once under his watch, in his first season as head coach. 

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.