The K-State men's basketball team takes on Southern Miss in the Round of 64 at the NCAA Tournament in Pittsburgh.
A former Wildcat letterman and native of McPherson, Kan., Brad Underwood begins his sixth season at his alma mater, including his first as associate head coach, in 2011-12.
Underwood, who returned to Kansas State in May 2006 as director of basketball operations under former head coach Bob Huggins, was elevated to assistant coach by current head coach Frank Martin for the 2007-08 season. He was promoted to associate head coach on June 10, 2011.
Underwood has played a major role in helping revitalize the Wildcat program under head coaches Bob Huggins and Frank Martin, which has tallied five consecutive 20-win seasons for the first time in school history highlighted by a historic 29-8 record in 2009-10. With his help, K-State has 118 wins the past five seasons, including 50 in Big 12 play, and has advanced to the postseason in five straight seasons for the first time in the program's history, including trips to the NCAA Tournament in 2008, 2010 and 2011.
The 118 wins are the most in school history in a five-year span, shattering the previous mark of 107 wins set from 1957-62, while the 50 conference victories are the most in that time frame since the squad posted 56 from 1971-76. K-State is one of only four Big 12 schools (along with Kansas, Texas and Texas A&M) to total five consecutive 20-win seasons and the Wildcats and Jayhawks are the only teams to finish in the top-4 in the Big 12 and receive a bye at the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship in each of the past five seasons.
In addition, Underwood has helped coach a pair of All-Americans, including consensus first team selection and Player of the Year candidate Michael Beasley, as well as several all-conference players in his tenure. Beasley was the school's first consensus first team All-American since 1981. Underwood received much acclaim during the 2010-11 season, as Martin took his suggestion of adjusting the offensive scheme to the "pinch-post" in early January. As a result, the Wildcats were able to rattle off nine wins in their last 11 regular-season games to earn their fifth consecutive 20-win season and their third trip to the NCAA Tournament in four seasons. Among those nine victories were its second straight over the nation's top-ranked team (No. 1 Kansas) and its first over a Top 10 squad (No. 7 Texas) on the road since 1994. Overall, the Wildcats recorded a 23-11 overall record, including a tie for third place in the Big 12 standings with a 10-6 mark. The squad collected wins over six ranked teams, including a pair of Top 10 foes.
In May 2011, Underwood was one of 55 assistant coaches nationally, including one of six in the Big 12, to attend the prestigious Villa 7 Consortium at Virginia Commonwealth's Center for Sport Leadership in Richmond, Va. The conference intends to help assistant coaches by having them interact with athletics directors and conference commissioners to better prepare them to become head coaches.
Underwood contributed to one of the school's greatest seasons in 2009-10, as K-State posted a school-record 29-8 overall record, including a Big 12 era high tie for second place in the league standings with an 11-5 mark. The Wildcats advanced to the postseason with their highest-ever seed (No. 2) in the NCAA Tournament and earned its first trip to the Elite Eight in more 20 years. In the process, the team knocked off a school-record six ranked opponents, including the first win over a No. 1 team since 1994, and finished the season ranking in the Top 10 for seven straight weeks capped by the school's first final Top 10 ranking since 1973 at No. 7 in both the USA Today/ESPN Coaches and Associated Press Top 25 polls.
On the heels of this record-breaking campaign, Underwood helped K-State tally a 22-12 record, including a tie for fourth place in the Big 12 standings with a 9-7 mark, in 2008-09. The Wildcats advanced to the postseason for the third consecutive season with an at-large bid (No. 4 seed) to the National Invitational Tournament (NIT). The squad defeated Illinois State at home in overtime in the first round before losing to the region's top-seed, San Diego State, in the second round.
In his first season as an assistant coach, Underwood guided the Wildcats to a 21-12 record, including a third-place finish in Big 12 play with a 10-6 mark, in 2007-08. It marked not only the highest conference finish since the 1987-88 season, but also was the first time the team has collected 10 or more league victories in back-to-back years since the 1975-76 and 1976-77 seasons. The squad earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in nearly 12 years, where the 11th-seeded Wildcats defeated six-seeded USC, 80-67, to capture its first NCAA Tournament win since 1988 before losing to third-seeded Wisconsin in the second round.
Underwood returned to the assistant coach ranks four years ago after spending 2006-07 as the director of basketball operations under Bob Huggins. In that role, he assisted in coordinating recruiting activities for the program, running Bob Huggins' Basketball Camps and organizing coaching clinics. In addition, he coordinated all team travel and oversaw special projects for the basketball office. Underwood brings more than 20 years of coaching experience to his position at K-State, including stints as a head coach at the junior college level at both Dodge City (Kan.) Community College (1988-93) and Daytona Beach (Fla.) Community College (2003-06). In between those stints, he was the top assistant to head coach Jim Kerwin at Western Illinois from 1992-2003.
Underwood joined the staff on May 16, 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 Atlanta Hawks.
In 2005-06, Underwood guided Daytona Beach to a 25-5 overall record and a runner-up finish in Mid-Florida Conference play with a 12-3 mark. He helped six players earn Mid-Florida Conference honors, including two first team all-league selections, as well as conference player of the year Blake Young. Young went on to earn honorable mention All-America accolades from the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) and first team Region VIII accolades. Young and Demetrius Green were both rated among the top 25 players in the country by JucoJunction.com.
He guided the Falcons to back-to-back Mid-Florida Conference Championships in 2003-04 and 2004-05. His 2004-05 squad produced a 24-10 overall record and runner-up finish in Region VIII. Six players earned all-conference accolades, including four first team selections. David Lawrence was also selected to the NJCAA All-Region VIII first team as well as the Florida Community College Athletic Association (FCCAA) All-State team. Underwood's first team collected a 21-9 overall mark and produced one NJCAA All-Region VIII first team selection.
Prior to his stint at Daytona Beach, Underwood spent 10 years as an assistant coach at Western Illinois under Jim Kerwin. The Leathernecks produced a 135-174 record from 1992-2003, including a 79-97 mark in Mid-Continent Conference play. The team advanced to the finals of the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament three straight seasons (1995, 1996, 1997) and achieved five consecutive seasons of winning at least 16 games. He helped coach 12 all-conference players, including four first team selections, and four named to the All-Newcomer Team.
Underwood earned his first head coaching position in 1988 at Dodge City Community College in Dodge City, Kan. He spent four seasons as the program's head coach, guiding 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.
Underwood, 47, earned his bachelor's degree in radio and television communications from Kansas State in 1986. He was a two-year letterman and guard for the Wildcats from 1984-86 under head coach Jack Hartman.
A native of McPherson, Kan., he is a 1982 graduate of McPherson High School, where he was a three-year standout in basketball. He is married to the former Susan Price. The couple has one son, Tyler and two daughters, Katie and Ashley.