Brad Underwood

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Brad Underwood
Sport(s) Basketball
Current position
Title Head coach
Team Illinois
Conference Big Ten
Record 8–4 (.667)
Biographical details
Born (1963-12-14) December 14, 1963 (age 54)
McPherson, Kansas
Playing career
1982–1983 Hardin–Simmons
1983–1984 Independence CC
1984–1986 Kansas State
Position(s) Guard
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1988–1992 Dodge City CC
1992–2003 Western Illinois (asst.)
2003–2006 Daytona Beach CC
2006–2012 Kansas State (asst.)
2011–2012 Kansas State (assoc.)
2012–2013 South Carolina (assoc.)
2013–2016 Stephen F. Austin
2016–2017 Oklahoma State
2017–present Illinois
Head coaching record
Overall 117–31 (.791)
Tournaments NCAA: 2–3
Accomplishments and honors
3x Southland regular season (2014–2016)
3x Southland Tournament (20142016)
3× Southland Coach of the Year (2014–2016)
Joe B. Hall Coach of the Year (2014)

Bradley Cole Underwood (born December 14, 1963) is the current head coach for the Illinois men's basketball team. Previously, he served as head coach at Oklahoma State, Stephen F. Austin, Dodge City Community College and Daytona Beach Community College and assistant coach at Western Illinois, Kansas State, and South Carolina.

Playing career[edit]

Underwood played as a guard for Hardin-Simmons University during his freshman year from 1982-83 and later transferred to Independence Community College.[1] During his sophomore year, Underwood averaged 17 points a game and led Independence to a second place finish in the NJCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship game.[2] As a sophomore at Independence, Underwood took a recruiting visit to Oklahoma State University where Bill Self, then an Oklahoma State basketball player, was his host.[3] Days later, Underwood decided to attend Kansas State University, where he would play under head coach Jack Hartman.[2]

Early coaching career[edit]

Underwood began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Hardin-Simmons during the 1986–87 campaign. He continued his coaching career as the head coach of Dodge City Community College, where he led the Conquistadors to a 62–60 record from 1988 to 1993. In 1993, he joined Jim Kerwin's staff at Western Illinois, with whom he spent 10 years as an assistant.[4] He led Daytona Beach Community College to a 70–24 record from 2003 to 2006 and was twice named the Mid-Florida Conference Coach of the year. He served as assistant coach under Bob Huggins and Frank Martin from 2006 to 2012. In 2012, Martin left Kansas State to become head coach of South Carolina, and Underwood followed him as his associate head coach.[5][6]

Head coaching career[edit]

Stephen F. Austin[edit]

On April 30, 2013, Underwood was hired as head coach of Stephen F. Austin. He replaced Danny Kaspar, who left after 13 seasons to become the head coach of Texas State. According to athletic director Robert Hill, "Brad Underwood brings years of experience to SFA and has coached at the highest levels of Division I basketball. All of this plus his knowledge of the game and ability to recruit makes him the perfect hire for our men's basketball program. He has great plans on how we can make this program even better."[5]

In his first season at the helm, Stephen F. Austin captured the Southland Conference regular season championship going a perfect 18–0 in conference play.[7] He was named Southland Coach of the Year.[8] SFA was awarded the Southland Conference automatic berth to the 2014 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament where they upset VCU in the round of 64, before eventually falling to UCLA.

Underwood's third season saw him win the Southland Conference tournament again and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament as a 14 seed. He then led the Lumberjacks to an upset victory over the third seeded West Virginia Mountaineers coached by Bob Huggins, who he worked as an assistant with at Kansas State. Stephen F. Austin had a 75–70 lead over sixth seeded Notre Dame with two minutes to play in the second round before the Irish scored six straight points and won on a tip-in with 1.2 seconds left.

Oklahoma State[edit]

On March 21, 2016, Underwood was hired as head coach of Oklahoma State. He replaced Travis Ford, who was fired after a 12–20 regular season record.[9] He led the Cowboys to a 20–13 record in his only season as head coach, ending with a loss to Michigan on March 17, 2017, in the NCAA tournament.


On March 18, 2017, Underwood was hired as head coach of Illinois, replacing John Groce.[10] Underwood signed a six year contract through 2023 worth $18 million that includes two retention bonuses.[11]

Professional players coached[edit]

Player Draft Pro Team(s) Cite
Stephen F. Austin
Jacob Parker Undrafted Tajfun, Oettinger Rockets [12]
Nikola Gajic Undrafted Igokea [13]
Deshaunt Walker 89th, Sioux Falls Skyforce, 2015 NBA D League Draft St. Louis RiverSharks, AngraBasket [14][15][16]
Desmond Haymon Undrafted Tokyo Cinq Rêves [17]
Clide Geffrard Undrafted Villa San Martin [18]
Thomas Walkup Undrafted Windy City Bulls [19]
Oklahoma State
Jawun Evans 39th, Los Angeles Clippers, 2017 NBA draft Los Angeles Clippers [20]

Head coaching record[edit]


Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks (Southland Conference) (2013–2016)
2013–14 Stephen F. Austin 32–3 18–0 1st NCAA Round of 32
2014–15 Stephen F. Austin 29–5 17–1 1st NCAA Round of 64
2015–16 Stephen F. Austin 28–6 18–0 1st NCAA Round of 32
Stephen F. Austin: 89–14 (.864) 53–1 (.981)
Oklahoma State Cowboys (Big 12 Conference) (2016–2017)
2016–17 Oklahoma State 20–13 9–9 5th NCAA Round of 64
Oklahoma State: 20–13 (.606) 9–9 (.500)
Illinois Fighting Illini (Big Ten Conference) (2017–present)
2017–18 Illinois 8–4 0–2
Illinois: 8–4 (.667) 0-2 (.000)
Total: 117–31 (.791)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion


A native of McPherson, Kansas, Underwood attended Kansas State University and lettered on the basketball team between 1984 and 1986. He graduated from Kansas State with a bachelor's degree in radio and television communications in 1986. He is married to Susan Underwood and has three children: Tyler, Katie, and Ashley.[4] Tyler plays for his dad at the University of Illinois.

Coaching Tree[edit]

Erik Pastrana- Head coach at Daytona State College (2017-present) [21]


  1. ^ "Hardin Simmons Letterman". Hardin Simmons University. 
  2. ^ a b Tramel, Berry (March 22, 2016). "32 years ago, Brad Underwood rejected OSU". The Oklahoman. Retrieved November 17, 2017. 
  3. ^ Robinett, Kellis (March 22, 2016). "Frank Martin on new OSU coach Brad Underwood: He's a program-builder". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved November 17, 2017. 
  4. ^ a b "Brad Underwood Bio". Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks. Stephen F. Austin University. Retrieved March 2, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "Stephen F. Austin names Underwood new men's hoops coach". Fox News. April 24, 2013. Retrieved March 1, 2014. 
  6. ^ Helsley, John (March 21, 2016). "Oklahoma State basketball: The Brad Underwood file". The Oklahoman. Retrieved November 17, 2017. 
  7. ^ "SFA clinches SLC championship with 40 point win". KLTV. February 27, 2014. Retrieved March 2, 2014. 
  8. ^ SFA's Parker Named Men's Basketball Player of the Year. Southland Conference. Retrieved on March 10, 2014.
  9. ^ "Gary Parrish on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2016-03-21. 
  10. ^ Ryan, Shannon (March 18, 2017). "Illinois hires Brad Underwood as men's basketball coach". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved November 17, 2017. 
  11. ^ "Brad Underwood to triple salary at Illinois". Quad City Times. March 20, 2017. Retrieved November 17, 2017. 
  12. ^ [1]
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  16. ^ [5]
  17. ^ [6]
  18. ^ [7]
  19. ^ [8]
  20. ^ [9]
  21. ^ "Daytona State Names Erik Pastrana Head Men's Basketball Coach". Daytona State College. 2017-05-25. Retrieved 2017-11-30.