SFA basketball coach Underwood makes it to Final Four of Infinit - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

SFA basketball coach Underwood makes it to Final Four of Infiniti Coaches Challenge

Nacogdoches Area United Way expresses appreciation for all who participated in the Infiniti Coaches’ Challenge. (Source: KTRE Staff) Nacogdoches Area United Way expresses appreciation for all who participated in the Infiniti Coaches’ Challenge. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Director Gary Lee Ashcrafts says the $15,000 reward money will be used to help United Way partner agencies. (Source: KTRE Staff) Director Gary Lee Ashcrafts says the $15,000 reward money will be used to help United Way partner agencies. (Source: KTRE Staff)
SFA Coach Brad Underwood reached the Final 4 in the social media contest. United Way was his charity of choice.  (Source: KTRE Staff) SFA Coach Brad Underwood reached the Final 4 in the social media contest. United Way was his charity of choice. (Source: KTRE Staff)
NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) -

Right now the Stephen F. Austin State University Lumberjacks are playing at the NCAA basketball tournament.

We'll have to wait and see how far they go in the big tournament. However, the wait is over for the thousands who moved Coach Brad Underwood and United Way up in the Infiniti Coaches challenge.

The non-profit is saying thank you for all who participated.

At the United Way Nacogdoches office, Director Gary Lee Ashcraft knows in his book SFA has already reached the Final Four.

"Stephen F. Austin was No. 4. Perdue, No. 3. Ohio State, No. 2, and then Michigan No. 1, so that's pretty neat,” Ashcraft said.

The Infiniti Coaches' social media contest added $15,000 to the United Way budget, a charity selected by Coach Brad Underwood. The coach talked about his gratitude toward voters before leaving for the big game.

"I thank everybody for getting involved and voting every day,” Underwood said. Gary Lee and his staff and people were a blast to work with again and we got $15,000 coming to help the good people of Nacogdoches in so many different areas. I couldn't be prouder."

The United Way Board will allocate the funds to the right places.

"It will go towards programs that our existing United Way partner agencies have,” Ashcraft said.

This year the Nacogdoches United Way stepped up its campaign to move farther along in the standing. It involved direct mail, media advertising, and lots of automatic daily reminders to fans to text “voteforbrad.”

"We got up and looked at what Michigan is doing and what the other ones were doing. We learned a lot from them,” Ashcraft said. “We were kinda spying on them.”

Ashcraft says he's already placed a call to Infiniti Coaches' Charity expressing a desire to participate in the contest again next year. Everyone at United Way is hoping Coach Brad Underwood will be around to accept the invitation.  

United Way Nacogdoches says the community can easily make up the difference between the $15,000 award to the $100,000 presented to the number one winner. Nacogdoches County United Way donations are accepted all year long.

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