NACOGDOCHES — Brad Underwood, the associate head coach at South Carolina, was named the new basketball coach at Stephen F. Austin State University, Robert Hill, SFA director of athletics, announced on Tuesday.
He replaces Danny Kaspar as head coach after Kaspar recently left to take the head coaching position at Texas State. He finished his 13-year career ranked second all-time at SFA in wins with 246.
Underwood comes to SFA after an extensive coaching career that includes 27 years in the coaching profession, including the past two seasons as an associate head coach at both South Carolina and Kansas State with current Gamecock head coach Frank Martin.
This year he helped South Carolina secure an incoming recruiting class ranked in the national top 40 by ESPN.com. He is credited with playing a major role in helping to revitalize the Kansas State program, which posted 20-win campaigns and advanced to the postseason — including four trips to the NCAA Tournament — during all six of his seasons at KSU.
“I am very excited about this opportunity to take over a wonderful program in a beautiful town,” Underwood said. “I look forward to a long and very successful time in Nacogdoches. This is a program that has been regarded as one of the top programs in the Southland for a number of years, and I feel very privileged to take over a program where the culture of winning is already in place.
“I look forward to winning, and leading this program to future championships.”
Underwood earned his bachelor’s degree in radio and television communications from Kansas State in 1986, where he was a two-year letterman for the Wildcats (1984-86). A native of McPherson, Kan., he and his wife, Susan, have one son, Tyler, and two daughters, Katie and Ashley.
“Brad Underwood brings years of experience to SFA and has coached at the highest levels of Division I basketball,” Hill said. “All of this, plus his knowledge of the game and ability to recruit, makes him the perfect hire for our men’s basketball program. He has great plans on how we can make this program even better.”
Prior to South Carolina, Underwood served on the Kansas State staff for six years, beginning in May 2006 as the director of operations for then-head coach Bob Huggins. After serving in that capacity for the 2006-07 campaign, Underwood was promoted to assistant coach before the 2007-08 season, Martin’s first as the head coach at KSU.
A Kansas State graduate, Underwood helped coach several all-conference players and two All-Americans at his alma mater, while helping the Wildcats win at least 21 games each season and finishing fifth or higher in the Big 12 each year.
Underwood joined the K-State staff in 2006, after spending three seasons as the head coach at Daytona Beach Community College in Daytona Beach, Fla. He helped guide the Falcons to a 70-24 (.745) overall record, including three consecutive 20-win seasons and two Mid-Florida Conference Championships from 2003-06.
He was twice selected as the Mid-Florida Conference Coach of the Year following the 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons. He saw 14 players go on to receive scholarships at four-year programs, including Travis Aikens (Marshall), Demetrius Green (Middle Tennessee State), David Lawrence (College of Charleston), Solomon Jones (South Florida) and Blake Young (K-State). An honorable mention All-Big East selection at USF in 2006, Jones was selected in the second round of the NBA Draft by the Atlanta Hawks.
Prior to his time at Daytona Beach, Underwood spent 10 years as an assistant coach at Western Illinois under Jim Kerwin.
Underwood earned his first head coaching position in 1988 at Dodge City Community College in Dodge City, Kan., where he spent four seasons at the helm and guided the Conquistadors to a 62-60 record from 1988-93. His 1990-91 squad compiled a 23-9 record and was ranked as high as No. 4 in the nation.