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Underwood introduced as Illinois basketball coach

By Clip Syndicate
CHAMPAIGN -- New Illinois men's basketball coach Brad Underwood said he never thought he would leave Oklahoma State but when Illini athletic director Josh Whitman called him last week, he couldn't turn down the offer.

http://eplayer.clipsyndicate.com/view/12450/6837412 Video: Underwood introduced as Illinois basketball coach
CHAMPAIGN -- New Illinois men's basketball coach Brad Underwood said he never thought he would leave Oklahoma State but when Illini athletic director Josh Whitman called him last week, he couldn't turn down the offer.
http://chic.clipsyndicate.com/video/playlist/12450/6837412?cpt=8&wpid=2637 Mon, 20 Mar 2017 22:02:18 +0000 Underwood introduced as Illinois basketball coach CHAMPAIGN -- New Illinois men's basketball coach Brad Underwood said he never thought he would leave Oklahoma State but when Illini athletic director Josh Whitman called him last week, he couldn't turn down the offer. http://chic.clipsyndicate.com/video/playlist/12450/6837412?cpt=8&wpid=2637 WCIA ((aaron))brad underwood was introduced illinois' new men's basketball coach today.he takes over for john groce who was fired nine days ago.wcia 3's sports director bret behrens joins us now.underwood certainly set the bar high for the illini. ((bret))he certainly did. underwood talked for about 30 minutes -- touching on everything from his coaching style to how he plans to go about recruting and everything in between.the main thing i took away from it all -- his confidence to get this program back on the right track -- and his passion for illinois basketball. underwood is from kansas but was an assistant coach at western illinois university in macomb for 10 years -- playing several times against illinois -- so he's very familiar with the illini tradition.he got his first head coaching job at stephen f austin back in 2013 -- leading them to an 89-14 record.then last year at this time -- he moved on to oklahoma state where he helped lead a big turnaround there -- getting them to the ncaa tournament. his overall head coaching record is 109-27 -- and he's been to the ncaa tournament every year.now here at illinois -- underwood says he plans on doing the same thing. ((bret))underwood signed a six- year contract that will pay him 18 million dollars total. the first year he'll make 2.75 million -- that's about a million more than former head coach john groce was making -- and about 1.75 million more than underwood was making at osu.the deal includes 100- thousand dollar raises every year -- and also has retention bonuses built in.illinois had to pay a three million dollar buyout to oklahoma state for breach of contract. ((bret))for more on underwood let's head out to state farm center where our craig choate is standing by live.craig it sounds like this is a job that underwood's had his eye on but wasn't expecting it to come now. ((craig)) right -- he was just settling in at oklahoma state when whitman reached out...and underwood didn't waste anytime accepting the offer... less than one full year after being announced as the new oklahoma state coach, brad underwood is now at the helm of a different program.brad underwood:"i never thought i would leave oklahoma state. and then i have a conversation with brett after we get beat by michigan by one and i'm not in a very good mood. mentions university of illinois and a couple other schools had reached out and been pursuing. for me it was no decision, it was something that meant a great deal to me."the university has meant so much to the underwood family, that it's been in their plans for years.underwood:"my wife always told my son he would always go to school here and that's the truth, his first jersey was a brian cook jersey."now underwood's son tyler, will get his own illini jersey.tyler will suit up in the orange and blue next season.but that wasn't the draw to the job for underwood. he says he's in champaign to bring the illini back to national promince.underwood: "i've felt this is an elite program. as josh and i visited, that resonated with me. he's a tremendous salesman in terms of how proud he is. his pride in this university is incredible. he didn't have to sell me. we will win, that's what i'm all about."and that's exactly what he says he's here to do.setting his sites on raising the school's first banner in over a decade. underwood:"i use the term a lot, and you'll hear me, i dream big. it's a cliche that obviously i didn't come up with but i do. i dream big, and i dream bigger. and winning a national championship is something that can happen here and i want to be a part of that. i want to lead this program to that. there's a commitment to winning, and i use this phrase a lot, losing is not an option." ((craig)) and losing is something underwood really isn't used to...he's only lost 27 games his entire career -- and 13 of those were this year...reporting live from the state farm center -- craig choate -- wcia 3 sports... ((bret))thanks bret. ((bret))interesting to note illinois athletic director josh whitman received a waiver from the chancellor's office to make the hire happen so quickly.normal university policy mandates a job must be open for at least a week.but due to the circumstance -- they waived that rule.it's the second time whitman has used that special waiver -- he also used one to hire lovie smith last year.whitman met with underwood in oklahoma early saturday morning -- that was their first face-to-face meeting -- then flew back saturday afternoon to champaign.((aaron))thanks bret ((aaron))




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