Illini basketball is finally starting to break through this season, and head coach Brad Underwood is going to be rewarded for his success. University of Illinois athletic director Josh Whitman announced that Underwood and his coaching staff are set to receive contract extensions, pending approval by the UI Board of Trustees when they host their meeting on March 12th.
Underwood's new contract would run through 2026, and the rest of the staffers would be extended through the 2022 campaign.
Before coming to Illinois, Underwood found success at Stephen F. Austin and Oklahoma State. After two seasons of implementing a new culture in the Illinois basketball program, the results are starting to show up. The Fighting Illini currently hold a 20-9 overall record (12-6 in conference play) and rank third in the Big Ten standings.
Having talents such as Ayo Dosunmu and Kofi Cockburn on the roster has certainly played a large role in the Illini's success, but much of it can also be attributed to the hard-nosed mentality Underwood has instilled in the team. Illinois currently ranks 16th in the nation in rebounding (40.1 RPG) in addition to being 14th in the nation and first in the Big Ten in offensive rebounds per game (12.8 ORPG).
With more elite talents in Andre Curbelo and Adam Miller joining the Illini in the coming seasons, Brad Underwood will continue to have weapons with which to work as he guides the University of Illinois basketball program for another six years.