The Brad Underwood Era in Stillwater didn’t even last one full calendar year. After leading his Oklahoma State Cowboys squad to the NCAA Tournament in his only season as coach, Illinois has announced it has hired Underwood this afternoon.
Welcome Coach Brad Underwood! #WeWillWin #ILLINI pic.twitter.com/9yqLI0Ce1x— Josh Whitman (@IlliniAD) March 18, 2017
Underwood was the lowest paid coach in the Big 12 last season, making just $1mil/year to lead the Pokes, and while contract details are not currently available, it is assumed Underwood will be receiving a significant raise to make the move to Campaign.
Underwood has been the focus of many Wildcat basketball fans’ dreams after his stellar showing at Stephen F. Austin in the three years before his arrival at Oklahoma State, as well as his Cowboy’s team growth during the season, starting 0-6 in conference play before winning 9 of their last 12 conference games to earn them an invite to the NCAA Tournament.
There is still hope for Kansas State fans, however, as Underwood’s incredible $6mil buyout to leave OSU for a Big 12 school is likely going to be cut significantly.
We have reactions from both sides for you, from the OSU side and the Illinois side, and the feelings expressed tell you what a coup this is for Illinois.