Underwood bolts for new job at IL

Underwood bolts for new job at IL

Underwood bolts for new job at IL

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.

Some Kansas State fans wanted the Wildcats to hire Underwood a year ago, and now that he's been whisked away by IL, did K-State lose another opportunity to hire the popular coach?

For a second time in as many years, Oklahoma State is in search of a new men's basketball coach.

To me, this is a great hire because not only do his teams improve each season, but his teams have an identity - especially on the offensive side of the ball.

Underwood is a 1986 graduate of Kansas State.

Underwood, 53, spent 11 seasons as an assistant coach at nearby Western Illinois and spent one season as the associate head coach at both Kansas State and SC before landing at Stephen F. Austin. Minutes later, Illini athletic director Josh Whitman tweeted a photo of him and Underwood, with a caption that said, "Welcome Coach Brad Underwood!"

Underwood will replace John Groce, whose team is still playing in the NIT. They lost to MI in the first round Friday. In his lone season at Oklahoma State, Underwood was 20-13 and his team earned a bid by winning 10 of 11 games from January 21-Feb. 25. All of that gave Underwood a solid foundation when he finally became a Division I head coach at Stephen F. Austin in 2013.

IL fired John Groce earlier this month.

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

Underwood will reportedly make more than double his salary with IL and takes over an Illini team that went 19-14 this past season.

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. Underwood spent his first year at K-State in the role of director of operations for then-head coach Bob Huggins.

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