Underwood joins the Big 12 after serving as president of the Dallas-Fort Worth Regional Sports Commission since 2000 and Director of Sports Marketing of the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau since 1998 following an Associate Athletics Director position at the University of Oklahoma. He joined the administrative staff of OU in 1987.
In his new role Underwood will oversee the men's and women's basketball operations for the Big 12. In this he will work directly with the coaching groups and administrators on each of the conference's campuses along with game management and officiating aspects of the league. He will also play a significant role with the men's and women's conference postseason basketball tournaments.
"We are very pleased to have John Underwood join our staff," Weiberg said. "He brings a wealth of administrative and coaching experience to the position. He also knows our conference extremely well and that will make for a very smooth transition. John is a great addition for us and we know he will help to continue to build the success of Big 12 Conference men's and women's basketball."
A two-year basketball starter at Texas A&M in 1967 and 1968, Underwood's coaching experience is also relevant to the conference. Prior to his administrative position at Oklahoma he served as an assistant basketball coach at SMU from 1980-87 under current Baylor head coach Dave Bliss. He was also a part of Bliss' staff at Oklahoma from 1976-80.
"I am excited about the opportunity to work with each of the basketball programs in the Big 12 Conference and look forward to continuing the successes from this past season," Underwood said.
A native of Honey Grove, Texas, Underwood majored in finance at Texas A&M in 1968. He also earned his Master's degree in education from A&M in 1972.
Following assistant coaching stints at Texas A&M, Stroman High School in Victoria, Texas, and at Henderson County Junior College in Athens, Texas, Underwood became head coach at Navarro Junior College in Corsicana, Texas, from 1972-76. There he guided Navarro to a 73-47 record prior to joining Bliss' staff at Oklahoma.