Tyler Underwood Joins Illinois Basketball Staff

Illinois head coach Brad Underwood announced the hiring of Tyler Underwood to the Fighting Illini staff as director of recruiting and scouting.

Tyler Underwood recently concluded a six-year college career, including the last four years at Illinois. He appeared in 40 career games over three seasons as a Fighting Illini.

Underwood was part of the resurgence of Illini Basketball that saw the program win 21 games in an abbreviated 2020 season and finish the year ranked No. 21 nationally. He then helped Illinois to one of the best seasons in school history in 2021 that featured a Big Ten Tournament championship, NCAA Tournament No. 1 seed, and No. 2 ranking in the final AP poll.

Underwood’s last two seasons on the roster aligned with the winningest two-year Big Ten run in school history, as the Illini combined for 29 conference wins from 2020 to 2021.

Underwood was part of three NCAA Tournament teams during his career: 2016 at Stephen F. Austin, 2017 at Oklahoma State, and 2021 at Illinois. A fourth NCAA appearance in 2020 was precluded by the cancellation of the postseason due to COVID-19.

“Tyler has prepared for this opportunity his whole life,” Underwood said. “He has always viewed the game from the coaching perspective and really focused his approach from that side of it more so than as a player these last couple of seasons. Tyler builds strong relationships, and he is respected in the locker room for how he’s pushed his teammates to help them achieve their best. He loves the University of Illinois, and when you combine that with his passion and knowledge for the game of basketball, he is an outstanding addition to our coaching staff.” 

Underwood received three degrees from the University of Illinois, earning a bachelor’s in sociology in 2019, a master’s in recreation, sport and tourism in 2020, and a master’s in management from the Gies College of Business in May.


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