NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Stephen F. Austin State University's head basketball coach is breaking his silence about his decision to stay in East Texas.
Late Wednesday, Brad Underwood reached out to fans through social media to make his first public statement since the announcement he would return for a second season.
The 10:10 p.m. post on Twitter reads, "Thank you for all wonderful words of support. Means a lot to me and my family! Lumberjack Pride is the greatest. #AxeEm." About an hour later he continued those thoughts in a second tweet. "#DreamBig 2014! So proud to say I'm a LumberJack! The momentum is still growing SFA a school with swag."
National media, including CBS Sports, had previously reported that Underwood was expected to accept a head coaching position with the University of Southern Mississippi on Wednesday. ESPN earlier reported Underwood was at one point a top contender for the head coach job at Marshall University.
Wednesday afternoon, SFA Athletics director Robert Hill ended speculation by announcing Underwood indicated he would remain a Lumberjack. "I look forward to another exciting season with him leading our program, and we will continue to move forward with Coach Underwood and what should be a great basketball team."
Underwood's stock soared after leading the Lumberjacks to the NCAA Tournament, ending his first season with a 32-3 record. The team's "Cinderella" season included a perfect 18-0 record in the Southland conference and the school's first NCAA Tournament win over Virginia Commonwealth University.
In April, Underwood won the 2014 Joe B. Hall award, given to the nation's top first-year basketball coach.
Underwood's next order of business in Nacogdoches will be a series of summer basketball camps for elementary, middle, and high school students.