Oklahoma State tabs Brad Underwood as new coach

By The Sports Xchange  |  March 23, 2016 at 1:45 AM
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Brad Underwood, who led Stephen F. Austin to an upset of West Virginia in the NCAA Tournament last week, was hired Monday as Oklahoma State's head coach.

He fills the vacancy created when Travis Ford was fired Friday.

Underwood, 52, guided the Lumberjacks to a 27-5 season and the championship of the Southland Conference. Stephen F. Austin, a No. 14 seed, downed the third-seeded Mountaineers 70-56 before falling to sixth-seeded Notre Dame 76-75 on a last-second tap-in.

In three seasons with the Lumberjacks, Underwood compiled an 89-14 record, with the win total matching Brad Stevens' mark from Butler as an NCAA record for a coach in his first three years at a school. Stephen F. Austin reached the NCAA Tournament in each of his three seasons after winning both the Southland regular=season and tournament crowns all three years.

He compiled a 2-3 NCAA Tournament record with the Lumberjacks, who beat VCU two years ago.

"This will always be home and it will always be a place that I dearly love," Underwood said of Stephen F. Austin.

In a statement released by Oklahoma State, Underwood said, "There's not enough adjectives to describe how excited I am for the opportunity to coach where some of the greatest coaches in the history of college basketball have cut their teeth. Oklahoma State has unparalleled tradition, history and culture.

"The fan support, the noise and the home-court advantage is what I remember most about Gallagher-Iba Arena, and I couldn't be more excited to be a part of that now."

Underwood played at Kansas State from 1985-86 before embarking on a coaching career. He was an assistant at Western Illinois, Kansas State and South Carolina before landing the Stephen F. Austin job in 2013.

"I named three things that I was looking for in the new head basketball coach at Oklahoma State: character, coaching style and fit," Oklahoma State athletic director Mike Holder said in a statement. "Brad Underwood gets the highest marks in each of those categories. He played in the Big Eight for Jack Hartman, a disciple of Henry Iba. He has coached and recruited in the Big 12, and has been very successful as a head coach in one of our prime recruiting grounds in the state of Texas."

Ford went 155-111 in eight seasons at Oklahoma State and recorded five 20-win campaigns. However, the Cowboys won just one NCAA Tournament game during his tenure.

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