Underwood breaks silence about decision to stay at SFA

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - When Underwood talks about being a prospect for other schools he's not surprised, but credits the success of his players and team as the main reason.

"I think we had a magical year and head coaches are usually the recipient of that in terms of being pursued a little bit," said Underwood.

The schools chasing after Underwood ultimately were let down, and while Underwood wouldn't go into detail as to why he turned them down, he did explain why he decided to stay at SFA.

"It ultimately came down to my love for SFA and how comfortable I felt, the players we had, and the program," said Underwood.

The relationships Underwood has made through his 1 year coaching at SFA also played a role in his decision.

"I'm a relationship person and my relationship with Robert Hill has grown through this and I have tremendous admiration for he, Baker Patillo and everybody here in the administration," said Underwood. "We have everything pulling in the right direction to continue to grow this and that's ultimately what was a deciding factor for me."

Breaking the news to his players was a must, and they had a team meeting to discuss Underwood's future.

"They all clapped and we did the fist bump thing. It's very gratifying to know that it was a locker room that was happy that I was staying, and I was happy I got to coach them and continue to make progress for another year. So there was a level of excitement, and that means I'm doing the right things," said Underwood.

Leaving a program where Underwood finished 32-2, and made school history by beating VCU in the NCAA Tournament was something he says he wasn't ready to walk away from.

"The important thing is that we keep moving this program to bigger and better things and that's my goal. It's been my goal since the day I stood up here on a podium and accepted this job," said Underwood. "My job is to strive for championships, and NCAA Tournament appearances, and moving this forward in the best possible way."

"I'm excited the way we ended. I'm more excited about the future," said Underwood. "It's amazing the impact this year has had on people and who says it has to stop."

In growing his program, Underwood says he continued to recruit while being sought after. He says he has signed 5 players that will be coming this summer.

As far as Underwood's renewed contract with the school, he wouldn't go into detail about the extent of the contract, but it is being restructured.

Last year however, Underwood signed a 5-year contract for an annual salary of $175,000.

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