Illinois says its hired Brad Underwood as coach

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Illinois says its hired Brad Underwood as coach

"I want to thank Josh Whitman for the opportunity to join the Fighting Illini family and look forward to working with him to build a championship program".

Underwood just finished his first season at Oklahoma State, where he led the Cowboys to the NCAA Tournament after starting 0-6 in the Big 12.

Underwood arrived in Stillwater following a dominant run at Stephen F. Austin where he led the Lumberjacks to Southland Conference regular season and tournament titles in each of his three seasons.

IL fired John Groce last Saturday after five seasons and just one NCAA tournament appearance. "The players, fans and administration at Oklahoma State have been absolutely incredible, and I want to thank them for the support they've given me and my family over the past year".

He replaces John Groce, who was sacked last week after five years and just one NCAA Tournament appearance. He was an assistant coach at Western Illinois from 1992 to 2003.

Self, whose first Power 5 head-coaching job was at IL, described the news of Underwood's departure as a shock. His Oklahoma State team lost 92-91 to MI in an NCAA Tournament first-round game on Friday. The Illini made the NCAA tournament just once under his watch, in his first season as head coach. IL likely made him a significantly better offer. The announcement comes roughly 26 hours after the end of Oklahoma State's season.

According to ESPN, Oklahoma State found out about Underwood's departure via Twitter. IL went 18-14 this season, bowing out against MI in the Big Ten tournament. "I think it would it would shock most people because obviously Brad was on a roll, I thought, in Stillwater".

On the periphery was Kansas State. The official was stunned to learn via Twitter that Underwood was going to IL, saying there was no indication he was leaving Oklahoma State. Will Underwood retain current interim head coach Jamall Walker? Walker holds many strings with recruiting around the state, and I feel that with Walker, Underwood can keep the current recruiting class - which ranks eighth in 2017.

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