Illinois Hires Oklahoma State’s Brad Underwood As Head Coach

    Illinois has hired Brad Underwood as its next head men's basketball coach. He spent one season at Oklahoma State and is replacing John Groce.

    March 23, 2017

    Illinois has hired Brad Underwood as its next head men’s basketball coach. He spent one season at Oklahoma State and is replacing John Groce.


    Illinois has found its replacement for John Groce, and he’s one of the more intriguing head coaches in the country.

    Oklahoma State’s Brad Underwood is taking over the program in Champaign just one day after the Cowboys dropped a shootout to Michigan in the first round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament. The seventh-seeded Wolverines claimed a 92-91 win over the 1oth-seeded Pokes in a Midwest Region contest in Indianapolis.

    Fighting Illini AD Josh Whitman announced the move via Twitter on Saturday afternoon.

    The school will hold a press conference on Monday at Noon CT to introduce its new head coach at State Farm Center.

    Underwood was in Stillwater for less than one calendar year, taking the job after last season following a successful stint at Stephen F. Austin. In his one year with the Cowboys, he went 20-13 overall and 9-9 in the Big 12 with a team that averaged 85.5 points per game. That successful campaign followed his three seasons at Stephen F. Austin, where he put together a sterling 89-14 overall mark and 53-1 record in Southland Conference play. The team made the NCAA Tournament in all three of his seasons at the school.

    Based on his coaching acumen and what other successful head coaches are earning annually, Underwood wasn’t exactly breaking the bank with the Cowboys. Contract details have not been released, but he is expected to have garnered a significant raise at Illinois, which is looking to get back to being a consistent winning program. He was paid a little over $1 million at Oklahoma State and will likely earn double with the Illini.

    Underwood is replacing Groce, who went 95-75 in five seasons but made the Big Dance with the Illini just once.

    MORE: Complete NCAA Tournament Bracket, Previews, Predictions

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