Underwood leaves Oklahoma State for Illinois
Oklahoma State head men's basketball coach Brad Underwood has accepted the same position at the University of Illinois. The school athletic director, Josh Whitman, confirmed on Twitter Saturday afternoon with a photo.
Underwood just completed his first season of a five-year contract at OSU; finishing with a 20-13 record which included a first round exit from the NCAA Tournament. There are reports that Underwood was unhappy with his current deal and was seeking a salary compensation that was on par with the average of other Big 12 coaches.
"You see a lot of coaching changes across America, but very rarely do you see one after just one year. But Brad's a really good guy and done a great job. But from the outside looking in, it looked to me like OSU and Brad fit very, very well." - Former Illinois head coach and Oklahoma State alum Bill Self
OSU Athletic director Mike Holder's offer was reportedly nowhere near that.
Before going to KU, Jayhawks head coach Bill Self held the same position at Illinois. He's also an Oklahoma State alumni. Self was asked about the coaching move Saturday afternoon.
Q. Doesn't have anything to do with tomorrow's game particularly, but Brad Underwood, it was announced today has taken the Illinois job. Wanted to get your thoughts on how that changes your alma mater, and your thoughts on the Illinois job just in general.
COACH SELF: I just heard it ten minutes ago, so it shocks me. I think it would shock most people, because obviously, you know, Brad was on a roll, I thought, in Stillwater. And a lot of great things have transpired in the short time he's been there.
So without knowing any details, I don't know what else to say. I mean, if that's -- congratulate him, but certainly not discourage Oklahoma State from still moving forward, I mean, because certainly the program is in better shape than it was a year ago. So I'm sure that they'll -- I don't even want to use the word recover. I'm sure they'll respond very favorably to this. But it is a shock.
You see a lot of coaching changes across America, but very rarely do you see one after just one year. But Brad's a really good guy and done a great job. But from the outside looking in, it looked to me like OSU and Brad fit very, very well.
UPDATE (4:50 P.M. CT): Oklahoma State released the following statement regarding former head coach Brad Underwood:
We are saddened and disappointed in Brad’s decision to leave Oklahoma State after one year,” said Oklahoma State athletic director Mike Holder. “We are trying to digest this news.”
“We wish Brad and his family well. In the meantime, we will consider the situation and move forward.”