Look: Brad Underwood Gives ‘Go Pokes’ At Illinois Presser

Written by Kyle Porter

Ohhhhhhh Brad.

Brad Underwood was introduced as the new Illinois head basketball coach on Monday, and he basically recited his press conference notes from one year ago in Stillwater.

Underwood’s contract was released — 6 years, $18 million — and Underwood talked about how elite Illinois is as a program. Then at the end he forgot where he was and … uhhh … was that a Go Pokes, Brad?

The whole thing is a little cringe-worthy. He kind of stumbles through a lot of it. Honestly, I would respect coaches a lot more if they just said, “Look, I got paid. A lot of money. Yuuuge money. You would have left, too.”

That’s not necessarily a Brad Underwood-specific problem, but it is irksome.

  • Daflyonthewall


    • Daflyonthewall

      Also…COMEDY GOLD

  • Dougy Doug

    Illini Nation just got a glimpse of a long (and only) first year from the man. Guy cant’ even keep his lies straight!

    • Daflyonthewall

      I was dying over here seeing that, well that’s one way to gaffe.

    • Pistols Fired!!

      At this point, his accountant will be keeping the important stuff straight!!

    • Vintage97poke

      8.5 million buyout after year 1. He’s there for at least 3 years

      • Scott in Texas

        I hope those three years seem like dog years to the Illinois administration.

  • davids

    Brad will be very successful. He has a great recruiting class coming to Illinois and will do well in the future. It’s time for the Cowboy Nation to let it go and look forward.

  • carl lamar

    Be adults. Behaving like the Thunder fans over KD’s departure only makes O-State look naive & petty, and gives prospective replacement candidates reason to pause.

    • David Einstein

      KD never lied at all. In fact, he was pretty open.

      (Not a Thunder fan, but this is different)

    • lpscout

      Listen, with all due respect;- you can write that. I will get to the point of not being bothered by this; but, I am not there yet and I will not apologize for it. I have put a child through 5 years at OSU, to the tune of about $75,000.00; been a football season ticket holder since 2008 ($ 10,000.00) AND bought numerous Basketball, baseball, wrestling and tennis tickets ( at least another $5,000.00),SO: I can express some displeasure and anger. Letting people vent is ok to do.

      • carl lamar

        Ok. You’re right. Do you feel better now?

        • lpscout

          Yes. I think I do. I am not on the “Doug” train, either. I think Holder could redeem himself by making a great hire and maybe even one not many expect.

    • AC

      You are the kind of Oklahoma State fan that makes me embarrassed to be a fan sometimes. You’re the kind that screams ‘loyal and true’ after OU stomps us into a fine paste each year. You’re the kind that thinks that playing the right way, all the time, no matter what is worth an extra loss or two each year. You’re the kind that doesn’t care about recruiting because the websites lie and it doesn’t matter because look how awesome Gundy is at training up two-stars. Guess what? We got stabbed in the back by someone we took at his word that he loved it here and wanted to stay here. If you’ve never felt betrayed and angry in your life, you’re either lying to yourself or have had a golden existence. Either way, shut up, understand that people are going to mourn – yes, mourn – in different ways, and stop trying to act like the arbiter of ‘class’ like so many fans try to do.

      • Pokes


    • Mike Gundy :)

      I’m 49, Carl.

    • Forever14

      If the money is right, the pause will be brief.

  • Guest

    I don’t mind being naive and petty, I do mind people telling me that my loathing of someone for their choices is not valid

  • David Einstein

    Phony used car salesman.

  • Trigiddy

    I guess new habits die hard too.

  • G-Block


  • lpscout

    “I never thought I would leave Oklahoma State”. Right. 362 days. Brad. Thanks for having NO FAITH in the team or the fans.

    • Cowboydroid

      I can only guess Mike Holder really is that awful to work for.

      • Adam M.

        He got a massive buyout, he gets paid $700k more per year than what Holder was prepared to offer on top of said buyout, and he doesn’t have to play KU, ISU, WVU, or Baylor on the regular anymore. He did it for the money and that’s all. That’s a nice retirement package for someone who hasn’t hit big boy status as a coach until turning 59 or whatever he is. $18MM (over the next 5 years) is probably more than he’s made his entire career. Can’t blame him either. Just don’t spew loyal and true, then as soon as someone waves a massive check in your face you’re in Illinois before the players know what’s happening. That part is what irked me the most.

        • Cowboydroid

          According to all the reports, Underwood wanted to stay and was willing to stay for less than what Illinois offered… util he found out what Holder really thought of the program.

          Underwood had high expectations for the program, just as the fans did. He wanted Final Fours, just like we do.

          Holder thinks we’re just another Tech or KState. If I’ve just been told I’m going to be paid like a Tech or Kstate coach, I’m hearing there is not real dedication to my program. That’s when I decide to take the bigger paycheck from a program that has indicated real dedication.

          Of the two, I question Holder’s loyalty to the basketball program before I question Brad’s. Holder has a history of not caring about the program.

          • Adam M.

            Underwood was due compensation values 5 years into his contract he wanted immediately. Holder tried to meet with him and give a contract extension which was fair, given his performance through the first season. Underwood passed on the meeting. Sounds like he was already on his way out. I doubt Holder is short sighted enough to not realize what the basketball program means to the school and the fans, it’s his business. Underwood was expecting a 10x raise between SFA and year two at OK State. Would you have ponied up after a 9-9 conference record and zero tournament wins in March?

          • Forever14

            You left out the 1-8 against the top tier of the Big 12.

          • Adam M.

            That’s a really good point. Granted he was playing with mostly Ford talent, which means hardly any front court. I don’t care who your coach is, you will have a tough time winning against the good teams with no significant presence there.

          • Cowboydroid

            Everyone and their dog knew the initial contract was a lowball offer. Underwood probably could have gone anywhere after last year, but chose OSU despite the low offer because it was such a great fit, and because he truly believed we were a premier program that would support him when the time came.

            Underwood held up his end. He turned a 12-20 record into 20-12. He sold out the arena, repeatedly. He coached up some players everyone left for dead. He got us back to the tournament and out of the cellar. He earned the right to renegotiate.

            I doubt Holder is short sighted enough to not realize what the basketball program means to the school and the fans, it’s his business.

            Haven’t been around much? Where were you the last decade?

          • Adam M.

            Ford’s last year was pointless. Of course he’s going to do better than 12-20. He won most of the games he should have, and pulled one rabbit out of his hat against WVU. The next HC will get plenty of hype as well, so don’t worry about filling seats, it could be you taking the position and fans would still show up if you have half an ounce of flair.

            As for the last decade, there’s not much you can do about a poorly drawn contract once it’s signed. Doesn’t mean he’s short-sighted. If anything, too far-sighted to try and lock down a ‘good thing’ for 10 years based on one good year.

            You can criticize all you want when hindsight is on your side, but to say Holder is actively and purposefully keeping the basketball program at a Texas Tech-level makes me wonder if you need your head examined.

        • lpscout


  • Shanewill3

    He also called his children great resources, which is both hilarious and sad at the same time.

    • Forever14

      I think the term he was looking for is “props”.

    • gordonlightfootTZ

      Yes, you left our school because your son wore an Illinois jersey.. WTF logic is that?