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Kirk Ferentz, Iowa Agree to New Contract Through 2029 Valued at $7M per Year

Adam WellsJanuary 15, 2022

Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

The University of Iowa has rewarded head football coach Kirk Ferentz with a contract extension through the 2029 season. 

The school announced Ferentz's extension on Friday, with a statement from athletic director Gary Barta:

"Kirk’s consistent leadership and success over 23 years has been amazing and appreciated as he has led our football program in a first-class manner. His success over the past 23 years speaks for itself. He is an asset to the University of Iowa and our athletics department as a whole. The foundation of his program is strong, and the future looks bright."

Per The Athletic's Nicole Auerbach, Ferentz's $7 million annual salary is broken down into a $500,000 base salary with $5.5 million in supplemental compensation plus a $1 million longevity bonus. 

The extension comes as Iowa's football program remains embroiled in a legal situation amid allegations of racial discrimination. A total of 13 former Hawkeyes players, all of whom are Black, filed a federal lawsuit against the program in Nov. 2020 claiming they were victims of "targeted discriminatory behavior" from members of the coaching staff that Ferentz enabled. 

U.S. District Judge Stephanie Rose threw out some of the allegations during a ruling in May, but claims of intentional discrimination by offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz, Kirk's son, and former strength coach Chris Doyle can proceed. 

Doyle has since left the program. He reached a separation agreement in June 2020 that paid more than $1.1 million remaining on his contract. 

Kirk Ferentz has been dismissed as a defendant in the case, but he is scheduled to be deposed this month.

This marks Ferentz's first contract extension since 2016 when he signed a six-year extension. His previous deal was set to expire after the 2025 season. 

Per Kennington Lloyd Smith III of the Des Moines Register, Ferentz's salary for next season was originally going to be $5.1 million before any potential bonuses. 

Ferentz is already the longest-tenured active head coach in FBS. The UConn graduate, who grew up in Pittsburgh, took over the Hawkeyes in December 1998, making him the last FBS coach to be hired before the turn of the century. 

Joe Paterno holds the FBS record for longest head-coaching tenure at a single school in FBS history (46 seasons at Penn State). 

Assuming Ferentz makes it to the end of his new deal, he will have been with the Hawkeyes for 31 seasons. The 66-year-old is already the program's all-time leader in games coached (288), wins (178), bowl games (18) and bowl wins (nine). 

The Hawkeyes finished the 2021 season with a 10-4 record and won the Big Ten West Division for the second time. They spent five consecutive weeks in the Top Five of the Associated Press poll, including reaching No. 2 in mid-October. 

Ferentz has led Iowa to 18 winning seasons and seven 10-win campaigns in his 23 years with the program.    

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