Illinois' new identity will be executing at an elite level on offense, improving and playing hard on defense, and never giving in - which is what happened this past season at Oklahoma State.
"Coaching basketball at the University of IL is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity", Underwood said in a statement.
Underwood, who previously coached at Stephen F. Austin for three seasons and Oklahoma State during the 2016-2017 season is a tremendous hire by athletics director Josh Whitman.
In his only season with the Cowboys, Underwood led them to a 20-13 record and a No. 10 seed in the NCAA tournament, but they were ousted by seventh-seeded MI 92-91.
The Cowboys hired Underwood a year ago, and he took the program to the NCAA tournament this season, losing to MI in the first round Friday. He has a career record of 109-27.
An official statement from the university is expected to be released by Saturday evening. In between those opportunities, Underwood was entrenched in the state of Illinois for 10 seasons, as an assistant coach for Jim Kerwin at Western Illinois from 1992-2003.
MI knocked Oklahoma State out of this year's Big Dance on Friday in a 92-91 seesaw battle. IL likely made him a significantly better offer.
The move could have deep rippling affects in Stillwater. Fingers are going to be pointed, especially at Holder.
Evans reportedly said after the first-round exit in the NCAA tournament that "most likely, I'll be back". His five-year contract at Oklahoma State was set to pay him $6.3 million for the duration - $1 million for this past season with raises to $1.6 million by 2020-21. "I think it would it would shock most people because obviously Brad was on a roll, I thought, in Stillwater". I do not care what conference it is, one loss in any conference is impressive.
"Did I learn from that?"
Five-star center Jeremiah Tilmon has a close relationship with Walker, and I feel that no matter who the head coach is; if Walker is on the staff Tilmon will stay. "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 previous year".