Illinois' coaching search has reached a rapid end.
The Fighting Illini announced Oklahoma State's Brad Underwood the program's newest head basketball coach Saturday, finding John Groce's successor just a week after his five-season tenure came to an end.
"I am excited to welcome Brad Underwood, his wife Susan and their three children to the Fighting Illini family," Illinois athletics director Josh Whitman said in the announcement. "In searching for a new coach, we were looking for a proven winner who would build upon our proud tradition while developing an unmistakable identity for Illinois basketball. Brad's teams play a fast, aggressive style and show unyielding toughness. They have a tremendous energy that I believe will ignite the Orange Krush and our fans to once again make State Farm Center one of the most intimidating venues in all of college basketball. Off the court, Brad builds strong, personal relationships with his student-athletes. His winning combination of strong Midwest values and tenacious work ethic are a perfect fit for our community and the Illini Nation."
Underwood just wrapped up his first season at Oklahoma State, taking over after three years at Stephen F. Austin, where he led the Lumberjacks to three straight NCAA tournament appearances.
The Cowboys were a No. 10 seed in this year's NCAA tournament, ousted Friday in a one-point loss to Illinois' Big Ten conferece-mate Michigan.
Underwood's Oklahoma State team ranked sixth nationally this season in scoring, averaging 85.7 points a game. The season before he took over, the Cowboys ranked 303rd nationally in scoring.
Underwood went 89-14 overall and 53-1 in conference games in his three seasons at Stephen F. Austin before posting a 20-13 overall record and a 9-9 mark in Big 12 play this season at Oklahoma State.
Prior to his days leading Stephen F. Austin, Underwood worked as a power-conference assistant at Kansas State and South Carolina under both Bob Huggins and Frank Martin. He also was an assistant coach at Western Illinois.
"Coaching basketball at the University of Illinois is a once-in-lifetime opportunity," Underwood said in the announcement. "The players, fans and administration at Oklahoma State have been absolutely incredible, and I want to thank them for the support they've given me and my family over the last year. However, during my time at Western Illinois, I always saw the Illinois coaching job as one of the truly best in the nation. I want to thank Josh Whitman for the opportunity to join the Fighting Illini family and look forward to working with him to build a championship program. I can't wait to get started with our team. Next season can't get here fast enough for me."
Whitman tweeted this picture out Saturday afternoon.
Illinois' season is not yet over, the team still alive in the NIT. The Illini play Boise State on Monday in Champaign.