Brad Underwood Contract Details at Illinois Revealed, Six Year $18 Million

Written by PFB Staff

Brad Underwood bounced to Illinois in a shocking move on Saturday just hours after his team’s first round loss to Michigan. He might have done it because of the money. Or he might have done it because he likes Illinois. Or maybe even because of a fractured relationship with Mike Holder.

Here are his contract details that were released on Monday.

  • Six years, $18 million
  • $2.75 million in year one
  • $3.25 million in final year

What’s interesting about the contract is that Underwood reportedly left Stillwater because he wanted $2.9-3 million a year from Oklahoma State. Holder (apparently) told him he would get him to $3 million by the fifth year. Underwood is getting it in Year 4 which is not all that much better.

Also Holder allegedly offered him $2.2 million next season which is not that far away from the $2.75 million Underwood will get from Illinois.

This sort of reeks of a combination of more money and less Holder which, I guess, is not all that different from what we have all been thinking for the last few days. He would have received less money overall in Stillwater, but not that much less. And we’re talking about a guy who turned down more money from UNLV and St. Louis last year to come to Oklahoma State.

Underwood was introduced on Monday afternoon as the Illinois head coach.

  • Pirate Pete

    Worst part of all of this is that I can’t decide who to be mad at, so I’m basically just mad at everything. I mean if Coach Iba walked into my house right now I’d probably be like “What the hell Henry?”

    • Moe Iba

      That’s Mr. Iba to you, son.

  • Saucy Takes

    I just want Keiton page to coach the next 40 years successfully

    • swaggypaw

      Indeed, he’ll be a great fit at Verdigris.

      • Zakary Bates

        Pawnee… But I see your point.

        • swaggypaw

          nah, he should really go to Verdigris just to PO Rotnei Clarke….:)

      • Saucy Takes

        Why not OSU what qualifies Gottlieb more? I’ve been waiting on a logical reason

        • OKsailor

          Gottlieb will have success from day 1 in ticket sales and publicity without playing a game. Now if he doesn’t achieve on the court success that will fade. Any other coach at this point, unless they are a big name, will have to do it the other way around, on court success will have to happen first. That’s the hope anyway.

          • Saucy Takes

            I Would buy season tickets to see one of the youngest coaches get after it, more so than a guy that hasn’t put any sweat equity into coaching yet with less experience than Pawnee pistol

          • Saucy Takes

            You have no facts in saying ticket sales would skyrocket

          • OKsailor

            Nope. That’s why I said that’s what we hope would happen. I’m ambivalent about Doug. I do know people close to him that say he would be successful but that’s all I have to go by. It’s a big gamble to me. Underwood was my choice last year and right now I’d have to say Jankovich at SMU. I just want someone good and to get a Self that would stay here forever, that would be the ultimate. That’s the allure with Doug I believe, could he be successful and never leave?

          • Saucy Takes

            I don’t think Keiton would leave and would be super cheap since we are short on cash

          • OKsailor

            Ha! You are probably right

          • swaggypaw

            you know, I don’t think they should do Doug….but Mark Jackson did pretty well as a first time head coach with the Warriors.

        • DK.OKstate

          A logical reason why Gottlieb would be a good choice at coach? Here are just a few:
          1. He has a very high basketball IQ which is a important quality of all coaches
          2. He is extremely good at marketing himself and his business which seems like a good correlation to recruiting
          3. He comes at a low cost which is important right now due to the Finacial situation of not only OSU basketball but Oklahoma higher Ed institutions right now.
          4. He shows buy in and loyalty which is and had been an issue at OSU in all sports for coaches who are not Alumni
          5. The experience that everyone faults him for not having at the moment can be learned and taught by good assistants, which seemingly he has ready to bring in. Loyalty and passion can not be learned.
          6. He is an investment that if given time will stick with OSU for the long haul ( at least more so than any other canidate). Gundy was 4 -7 his first year. After investment and him learning, look at what he has become.

          • Saucy Takes

            Keiton page has all of that plus sweat equity. And coaching experieince… Gundy coached football as a grad assistant and coordinator

          • DK.OKstate

            What experience does he have with marketing himself? Im not sure ive ever seen him speak over on the bench? Doug also clearly has a long history of work ethic, he has worked hard and its led to success, Keiton does not have that history either. It seems like you are saying hiring doug is equal to hiring any ex OSU player, but i disagree. Doug shows more passion for OSU than any Ex basketball player. He has spent years studying and researching the game. I enjoyed Keiton as a player but there is a huge difference between him and Doug. Hopefully you see that.

          • Saucy Takes

            He’s attended more practices seen more practices,has had more interaction with players and development than Gottlieb. Keiton Page has had a long history of work ethic he was 5’8″ playing D1 power 5 basketball and came out of Pawnee Oklahoma. that doesn’t happen without work ethic.. And no im not saying any ex osu player I’m talking about a guy who wants to be a coach, his father is/was a coach. and has experienced a lot of different coaching styles. The difference is Keiton page has a desire to get experience and learn and coach, Doug expects to be CEO immediately. And Page is from Oklahoma relates to the state.

          • austinpoke

            I’ve always been a big Keiton Page fan, but below are some issues that I feel would make Gottlieb a better candidate at this time:


          • austinpoke

            1. Gottlieb’s national media presence will make him a more attractive coach to most high schoolers.
            2. Gottlieb will have more backing from the Sutton era players, whose backing I feel will be extremely important at this point for the program.
            3. Keiton’s experience is almost 100% under Travis Ford, other than last year with Underwood.

  • OKsailor

    Assuming the deal Holder offered was 2.2mil increasing by 200k each year up to 3mil year 5, he will make about 1.75mil more at Illinois in that timeframe or about 350k more a year dividing it out.

    • Saucy Takes

      A lot of money but not a ton of money considering if you win you will be compensated well. It was a relationship issue

    • spokepokes

      Soooo he didn’t want to work for Holder

    • peteisabadman

      Go read this article posted earlier:
      Report: Holder Used Travis Ford’s Record To Negotiate With Underwood

      Personally, I would probably have reacted in much the same way that Underwood did when emotions started running high.

      • Sonny

        That’s what it was. Holder essentially compared him to the coach he just fired. That’s not how you convince someone to accept a little less then they’re asking to stay. Negotiations 101: Don’t insult the person you’re negotiating with.

        • zombie willham

          Except Ford’s year one results were better. So there’s that.

          • Saucy Takes

            Haha apples to oranges… Ford wasn’t the 3rd winningest coach through his first 4 years in NCAA history. Ford did not have to play the gauntlet like Brad has, Ford did not have the most efficient offense in the country. Michigan was the big 10 champ I don’t think Tennesee was top 4 in the sec that year

      • DataAddict

        So Underwood had his feelings hurt?

        Ah, poor guy.

        Holder is such a MEANY!

    • Pokelahoma

      Going to take less…Illinois has worse taxes I believe.

      • Saucy Takes

        Will pay less on car repairs

        • Pokelahoma

          8 percent worse income taxes?

      • Daflyonthewall

        I think one of the online calculators for cost of living put that area like 27% higher compared to stillwater

  • Philo Farnsworth

    The truth is its easier to have success at UI playing in the big 10 than it is to win at OSU in the big 12. It’s a tough job for a coach. The problem I have is that Underwood lied to the face of his players. That’s just unforgivable and makes him a POS that had conned us all…

  • swaggypaw

    So given all this, and the financial details laid out elsewhere in this blog….where, exactly is OSU as a basketball school now? If the school can’t pay top tier coach money, or attract top tier coaching candidates….where does that leave OSU?

    • Trigiddy

      We are putting all our resources into being a “Football School.” Basketball be damned.

      • swaggypaw

        This is kind of what I’m getting at. Does OSU want to be “Top 10” in both football and basketball? Assuming the answer is yes, do we have the funds/support/management acumen to make it happen? Or do we aim for top tier in one sport and 2nd tier in the other?

    • OKsailor

      This is completely an assumption but going by an article that said OSU basketball revenues were half compared to 10 years ago, Holder may have believed he had a coach that was willing to build things back up and receive compensation as funds allowed. I would have assumed the same thing after hearing that Underwood told his agent don’t even negotiate, that’s the job I want when he was contacted by OSU. I have no doubt that Underwood would have been compensated very well should he continue to be successful and the program return to what it was. It sounds like Underwood put himself before the program despite all the tradition he talked about.

      • swaggypaw

        That’s possible. The more I read though, the more I think Holder’s classification of OSU as a TTech, ISU, KSU type program did more damage than anything. It may be true, but why not say, “Look, here’s where we want to go. Get us there, and as we go up, you go up”. Instead, it APPEARS as if Holder capped the program’s potential. No competitor wants that.

        • T-Bone

          Why are we not looking for a Championship every year? I thought that was always the goal for a team in any sport.

  • OKsailor

    For some reason I wonder how Brandon Averette is doing? Followed Underwood from SFA here and then dumped.

    • Matthew Haffner

      I’m wondering about all the players but especially Averette. And N’Guessan. What happens to all these guys? What happens to Carrol? If Underwood asked him to come to Illinois, would he do it? Surely not…… right???? Which new coach gets the current committed recruits to stay?

    • Saucy Takes

      He’s pretty good. Being just a sophomore next year, I bet a lot of schools are interested in him now. If I were him I’d explore my options. Sut out a year and have 3 more years somewhere

      • T-Bone

        I think when your Coach leaves, you can transfer without having to sit out a year.

        • Jawbreaker

          I don’t think so. This is where the complaint that coaches can move around but players can comes from. Graduate transfers don’t have to sit out and special circumstances like Baylor and Penn State when the NCAA allows an exemption.

          • T-Bone

            It was Baylor I was thinking of. Didn’t realize it was special circumstances. I also think there is a different rule if you transfer out of conference and get a release from your current school.

        • Saucy Takes


  • jake

    LOL quit being so easy on Holder. $2.2 million is very far away from $2.75 million. That’s $550,000, which sure isn’t chump change.

  • Vintage97poke

    He isn’t leaving there after year one 8.5 million buyout!!

  • KLG0919

    More Money and Less Holder. You crack me up but that sounds about right.

  • Daflyonthewall

    Well, between his first year U of I salary and the amount they paid on his buyout, his new bosses care coughing up 5 & 3/4 million bucks.

    So, expectations will be high, and he now has to deliver on that. And maybe he will, maybe he’ll just deliver a more or less winning but not stunningly so season like he did here in his first year (though it was an improvement over last season.)

    Or maybe Underoo will crash and burn.

    If he does not live up to his new university and fan’s expectations – then get the popcorn ready.

    If the situation arises where the Big 10 collectively eats U of I alive and his first year is a crash and burn – then reserve the right to troll him, and them, and their fans, mercilessly on social media – it’s the American Way.


  • osuespirit

    I really like Tim Jankovitch who was a Sutton a assistant.