The Illinois Fighting Illini have a new man to lead their men’s basketball program. Athletic Director Josh Whitman announced the hiring of Brad Underwood as their new coach of the Illini via his Twitter account on Saturday, March 18. Underwood comes to Illinois from Oklahoma State. He coached the Cowboys this past season to a 20-13 record, including a trip to the NCAA Tournament, where they lost to Michigan in the first round. Oddly enough, Underwood had replaced Billikens head basketball coach Travis Ford at Oklahoma State, when Ford came to SLU one year ago.
Prior to his one season at Oklahoma State, Underwood was the head coach at Stephen F. Austin for three seasons. He won three conference titles at SF Austin and three trips to the NCAA Tournament. Underwood complied a gaudy 89-14 record in those three seasons at Stephen F. Austin. Underwood has coached in Illinois before. He was an assistant coach at Western Illinois from 1992-2003.
Underwood replaces John Groce as Fighting Illini head basketball coach. Groce was fired after coaching five years at Illinois.