And delights its fans - by hiring away OK State's Brad Underwood

Good Luck to Him, Brad Underwood is Chasing the Money

From the guy who brought you "Lovie Smith: Illini football coach", comes a new thriller with loads of potential, "Brad Underwood: Illini basketball coach".

After one season with the Oklahoma State Cowboys, head coach Brad Underwood is headed to IL. Prioe to his one season in Stillwater, Underwood took Stephen F. Austin to three consecutive NCAA Tournaments.

Last Monday, the day after the Cowboys were assigned to Indianapolis for a first-round NCAA Tournament game against Michigan, Holder and Underwood met. They lost 92-91 to MI in the first round Friday, finishing at 20-13.

IL fired John Groce last Saturday after five seasons and just one NCAA tournament appearance.

"I have tremendous love for the of IL and for this program", Underwood said upon arriving in Champaign Saturday afternoon.

In three seasons with the Lumberjacks, they went 53-1 in the Southland Conference, upset VCU in the 2014 NCAA tournament and upset West Virginia a year ago before losing to Notre Dame on a last-second tip-in. Oklahoma State came on strong during the second half of the season, winning 10 of 11 games from January 21-Feb.

Likewise, the fact that Underwood failed to make the wish lists of many bears no reflection upon his ability.

Underwood owes Oklahoma State $2 million for leaving before the end of his five-year deal.

Underwood does have some ties to the area, spending over a decade (1992-2003) as the assistant coach for Western Illinois. The Big Ten is a special conference. Brad Underwood was a career grinder who worked his way up the ladder in college basketball after playing for legendary Jack Hartman at Kansas State. IL confirmed the news Saturday afternoon.

Underwood was making $1 million per year at Oklahoma State. Underwood has coached in IL before.

Underwood had only been with the Cowboys for one season.

Stephen F. Austin also won two NCAA tourney games during Underwood's tenure. But what it comes down to is, Brad Underwood wanted $3 million per year, IL offered him that, and Oklahoma State didn't. Now, he was still willing to pay him more, but not as much as IL and when loyalty is more determined by the color green than the color of the school then business wins out. That's triple what Oklahoma State was paying him, and based on coaching salary numbers from 2016 (2017 numbers have not yet been released), would make him one of the 10 highest paid coaches in college basketball.



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