Brad Underwood's Net Worth: How Much Does The Illinois Coach Make?

Brad Underwood's popularity at the University of Illinois is evident, and it's thanks to the success he's brought to the Fighting Illini program. According to the school's website, The University of Illinois hired Underwood in March 2017, making him the 18th head coach in Illini history. The 2019 season faced Underwood with a tough challenge, including a team of youngsters and a demanding schedule. However, the coach rose to the challenge (kinda like the squad in Space Jam), leading his team to nine wins against teams with the top-80 rankings, including basketball powerhouse Michigan State. Before his stint in Champaign, Underwood had another successful tenure at Oklahoma State, where he enjoyed four seasons. In 2017, the Cowboys enjoyed a 20-win season and an NCAA playoff berth. Before that, Underwood coached at Stephen F. Austin.

In late March 2021, the Fighting Illini jumped to No. 2 in the AP polls. According to CBS Sports, this is the basketball program's highest ranking since the 2004-2005 season. All of Underwood's successes have awarded him with a pretty sweet bank account that may not be quite as much as the late Kobe Bryant's but is still pretty impressive at the college level. 

Brad Underwood's contract is pretty sweet

Brad Underwood is one of the top coaches in college basketball, and he has a sweet contract to prove it. According to The Chicago Tribune, Underwood signed a contract extension in March 2020 during his third season with the Illini. The three-year extension, which will run through the 2025-26 season, is worth $3.4 million in the first season. It includes a slight pay raise each year, and in the 3rd year, Underwood will make $4 million. Michigan State's Tom Izzo (who makes $3.9 million a year) is the only Big Ten coach who rakes in more than Underwood.

Once Underwood makes the NCAA tournament each year, he will have the opportunity to extend his contract, up until the 2029-30 season. Another added bonus? If Underwood remains with the school for the duration of his contract, he'll get another $750,000 — not too shabby! In a statement, Underwood called his job a "dream come true." "I am honored to be one part of what is a collective effort in working to get Illinois Basketball where it needs to be," he shared (via Sports Illustrated). "Building a program is hard work; there are no short cuts. But I am excited by the growth we've seen."

The contract makes Underwood the 12th highest-paid college basketball coach in the country, per USA Today. And if the 2020-21 season (which was played around the COVID-19 pandemic) is any indication of how he will do in his career — we're sure Underwood will remain happy for quite some time.