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Iowa announces a new contract and raise for Kirk Ferentz keeping him through 2026

On the heels of a special 12-2 finish to the 2016 season that saw the Hawkeyes make a trip to the Big Ten Title game and rise to #3 in the national polls at one point, Iowa has announced a contract extension and raise for head coach Kirk Ferentz.

Iowa locked Ferentz up through 2026, a six-year extension from the 10-year extension he signed in 2010. Ferentz will be 71 by the time the current deal comes to an end. In addition to the extra years, Ferentz also got a nice bump to his salary, up from just over $4 million a year annually, to $4.5 million. "I am pleased and proud to continue as head coach of the University of Iowa football team through 2026. It is a tremendous privilege and responsibility to lead the Iowa football program. I am extraordinarily proud of our program, our players, and our supportive fans. I appreciate the trust and confidence demonstrated by Athletic Director Gary Barta and President Bruce Harreld – and I look forward to continuing our winning tradition," Ferentz said in an official statement. Over the past decade, Ferentz has led the program to 78 wins (including bowl wins), twice eclipsing the elusive 10-win plateau (2009 and 2015), and has recorded just three losing seasons in his time with the program.

Ferentz, who was tabbed the new head coach at Iowa heading into the 1999 season - making him the second longest tenured head coaches in the country (behind only Bob Stoops at Oklahoma by a day) - is 128-87 overall as the head coach of the Hawkeyes. He has led the program to 13 bowl games in 17 seasons, including two Big Ten titles. In September of 2010, before Ferentz started his 12th season leading the program, the school announced a very generous 10-year extension keeping him around through the 2020 season. He was due $3,675,000 a year at that time, plus a longevity incentive that began at $325,000 and increased annually. At that time, athletic director Gary Barta was clear that his goal with that deal was to ensure Ferentz retired a Hawkeye. "I've said publicly, and privately to Kirk, that it would be my goal to have him retire at Iowa. This contract is a statement supporting that commitment," Iowa athletic director Gary Barta said in a statement via ESPN in 2010. According to the USA Today head coaches salary database of college coaches, Ferentz's 2015 salary under his previous deal ranked him 14th among college football's leaders at $4,075,000. Other coaches in that ball park include Gus Malzahn (#13 - $4,104,500) and Dan Mullen (#16 - $4,000,000). Ferentz got his start as a graduate assistant at UConn in 1977, then coached the offensive line and served as the defensive coordinator at Worcester Academy (CT) before becoming a graduate assistant at Pitt in 1980. From 1981-1989, Ferentz coached the offensive line at Iowa under the legendary Hayden Frye. Few realize that Ferentz had some head coaching experience on his resume prior to leading the Iowa program. From 1990-1992, after nearly a decade at Iowa as the offensive line coach, he was hired to take over the program at Maine, where he led the team to finishes of 3-8, 3-8, and then 6-5 in three seasons. From there he left for the Cleveland Browns offensive line job, then to the Baltimore Ravens to coach the offensive line before coming back to take over the Hawkeye program in 1999.

In Ferentz' existing contract, if the University were to terminate his contract without cause they would pay him 75% of the remaining base due over the life of his contract. So, with an annual salary of $4.5 million for the next ten years ($45 million base), if Ferentz were to be terminated without cause sometime soon, the University would be on the hook for over $30 million. Staggering confidence from Iowa.

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