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Despite COVID financial carnage, Iowa set to pay staff more than 2019

Pre-COVID, these waning months and weeks leading up to the kickoff of the college football season are typically filled with raises and new contract news.

Today, the Des Moines Register shared that Iowa is set to pay the football staff $5.27 million in base salaries this fall. That marks an increase of $575k from what they made last season and the raises range from between $40k and $90k.

Earlier in the pandemic, Iowa followed the lead of other athletic departments in announcing salary cuts, specifically aimed at those earning $200k or more. Not surprisingly, each of Iowa's 10 on-field staff members are over that threshold and thus will be giving up a portion of their new salaries. When considering the raises, and then the Covid haircuts ($527,000 in total), Iowa's staff will be paid slightly more in fiscal year 2020 than they were in 2019 the Register is reporting.

Normally, this type of news would be a relatively normal nugget in the course of our news day. However, weeks ago Iowa athletics announced their decision to cut four sports from their offerings to save costs. Those cuts included the men's and women's gymnastic teams, and men's and women's swimming and diving in an effort to save about $5 million.

On top of that, the university also paid now former head strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle $1.1 million as part of a separation agreement this summer.

Below is a look at the coaches and their 2020 and 2021 salaries side-by-side, courtesy of information from the Des Moines Register.





Fiscal Year 2020 SALARY

Fiscal Year 2021 SALARY


Kelvin Bell




Jay Niemann

Assistant DL



Phil Parker

DC / DBs



Seth Wallace

LBs / Assistant DC




Kelton Copeland




Brian Ferentz

OC / TEs



Derrick Foster




Ken O'Keefe




Tim Polasek





LeVar Woods





Raimond Braithwaite

Interim S&C


No one is knocking the staff for being paid market rates; but at a time when there is significant belt-tightening (at best) going on nationwide in college athletics, the optics of this don't look great for Iowa athletics.

As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest coaching information.