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Watch now: Illinois coach Brad Underwood signs one-year extension

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NCAA Fresh Faces Basketball (extension)

Illinois coach Brad Underwood is now under contract through the 206-27 season.

CHAMPAIGN — Illinois men's basketball coach Brad Underwood has received a one-year contract extension, the program announced Thursday. The deal is expected to be approved at a UI Board of Trustees meeting Sept. 23.

Underwood was hired in March 2017 and originally agreed to a six-year, $18 million deal. He signed a three-year extension in March 2020 and this second extension will keep him under contract through the 2026-27 season.

Last season, Underwood guided the Illini to one of their best campaigns in program history. The team went 24-7, clinched its first Big Ten Tournament championship since 2005, earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and won a program-record 19 games against conference opponents.

"Those are significant achievements. And yet, knowing Brad as I do, he remains focused on the future, determined to elevate our program to new heights," Illinois athletic Josh Whitman said in a press release. "He is as steadfast in his quest to build a championship program here at the University of Illinois as he was on March 18, 2017 (his hiring date). I am grateful to Brad, (his wife) Susan and their entire family for the commitment they have made to the University of Illinois. I am excited to continue working alongside him on this journey and look forward to his leadership over these next six years and beyond."

Details of Underwood's extension were not disclosed, but the contract "will move his total annual compensation into the top 10 nationally," per the release. The next four seasons are also fully guaranteed.

The Illini are 45-17 and 29-11 in the Big Ten over the last two seasons of Underwood's four-year tenure. He'll open his fifth campaign Nov. 9 at home against Jackson State.

"I'm proud of our players and staff for what we've accomplished to date. But to be blunt, that's over. We are in a hyper-competitive climate where anyone who rests on accomplishments gets left behind," Underwood said in the release. "So we have to keep pushing forward. Yet the foundation of our philosophy remains. We will work — in the classroom, in the community, and in the gym — with relentless effort. That is the process for producing Every Day Guys who will compete at a championship level. We are excited to work together to accomplish these lofty goals."

Follow James Boyd on Twitter: @RomeovilleKid


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