He was finished and he stood at the podium and said, “Go Illini” while giving the signal of pistols firing.
He then went to Oklahoma State where he inherited a dumpster fire from the previous incumbent Travis Ford, and turned OSU around. The former coach at Oklahoma State spoke to reporters today at the State Farm Center after he was named the Illini’s 18th head coach over the weekend. Underwood has never missed an NCAA tournament in his four years as a head coach. And whether success comes or not, he’s made a bold statement once more. His name is Chandler Hutchison, and the Illini are going to want to look out for him. That meeting that caused each side to bleed some was on Monday, March 13. Underwood was offered three times the amount at IL than OSU. He fired some zingers, somewhat under toned, but still zingers. “Whitman tweeted a photo with Underwood holding a sign with the Director of Athletics’ signature “#WeWillWin” phrase. “I felt this was an elite program”.
“Coaching basketball at the University of IL is a once-in-lifetime opportunity”, Underwood said in a statement. It’s a cliché that I obviously I didn’t come up with, but I do.
“I dream big, and I dream bigger”.
Recruiting questions were at the forefront as IL officially welcomed new men’s basketball coach Brad Underwood on Monday.
In 2000, Self left Tulsa to take the job at IL.
Some Kansas State fans wanted the Wildcats to hire Underwood a year ago, and now that he’s been whisked away by IL, did K-State lose another opportunity to hire the popular coach? “Last Wednesday, we picked up the phone for the first time and talked with Brad’s representative”. Leaving after one season as a team’s head coach is awfully rare in college sports, but that’s what Underwood did.
In his one season in the Big 12, Underwood experienced how hard it is to climb the ladder. “For next 4 years I will be continuing at The University of IL. It was something that meant a great deal to me”.
Working in Whitman’s favor, unbeknownst to most, was Underwood’s frustration with Oklahoma State’s lack of a commitment to basketball, according to a column written by insider Berry Tramel in Sunday’s edition of The Oklahoman newspaper. “We were thrilled to learn that the University of IL was a destination (for him)”.
This isn’t the old days, when IL could just get the best players in Chicago and win.
“Whitman’s pride is incredible and it exudes”, Underwood said.
“I like to play up-tempo and in-your-face defensively”. “It’s a wonderful institution”.
It needed to be, after jobs at Cal, Indiana and Washington opened during Whitman’s short search for a coach. Other names on the coaching market might have created more buzz, but much like when MI hired John Beilein in 2007, IL lured an established coach in his 50s more popular in coaching circles than on social media.