Iowa athletics announces contract extensions for nine coaches

Hawkeye athletics extended nine coaches until June of 2024, 2026, or 2028.

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Wyatt Dlouhy

Iowa wrestling head coach Tom Brands watches a during Iowa’s dual meet against Iowa State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018.

Chloe Peterson, Summer Sports Editor


Iowa athletics extended nine Hawkeye head coaches, the department announced Monday. A number of assistant coaches in several sports also received contract extensions.

“It is with great pleasure that we are able to reward our head coaches in these sports with contract extensions and adjustments,” Iowa athletic director Gary Barta said. “I am proud of our coaches, staff and student-athletes for their successes in competition, but just as importantly for the professionalism displayed in going about their business, both athletically and academically, throughout a very difficult time due to COVID-19.”

Lisa Bluder

Women’s basketball head coach Lisa Bluder’s contract now runs through June 2026. In 2020-21, Bluder led the Hawkeyes to a runner-up finish in the 2021 BIg Ten Tournament and a NCAA Sweet 16 appearance. 

Under Bluder’s direction, rising sophomore Caitlin Clark to consensus All-American status, the 2021 Big Ten Freshman of the Year award, and the Dawn Staley award — given to the nation’s top point guard.

Fran McCaffery

After a record-breaking 2020-21 season, men’s basketball head coach Fran McCaffery’s contract now runs through June 2028.

In 2020-21, Iowa sat at the top-10 in the country for most of the season, earning a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. He also guided Iowa to 14 conference wins and eight victories over ranked opponents.

McCaffery also coached Luka Garza, the 2020-21 consensus National Player of the Year.

Tom Brands

Reigning NCAA Champion coach Tom Brands’ contract now runs through June 2028. 

Brands earned 2021 Big Ten National Wrestling Coaches Association Coach of the Year after leading the Hawkeyes to a Big Ten and national championship in the 2020-21 season.

He has won four NCAA Championships and six Big Ten Championships in 15 seasons at the helm of the wrestling program

Iowa athletics is constructing a new wrestling facility adjacent to Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Lisa Cellucci

Field hockey head coach Lisa Cellucci’s contract now runs through June 2026.

Cellucci led Iowa field hockey to a 12-6 record throughout the 2021 spring season, including a Final Four appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

Cellucci earned back-to-back Big Ten Coach of the Year honors in 2019 and 2021. The Hawkeyes are returning their entire roster for the fall 2021-22 season.

Renee Gillispie

Iowa softball’s head coach Renee Gillispie’s contract now runs through June 2026.

In three years with Hawkeye softball, Gillispie led Iowa to 62 wins. 

In the 2020-21 Big Ten-only slate, the Hawkeyes achieved 26 conference wins —  the most in program history.

Denali Loecker and Brylee Klostermann were named to the All-Big Ten freshman team in 2020-21 — the Hawkeyes first selections to the team in program history.

Rick Heller

Iowa baseball manager Rick Heller’s contract now runs through June 2026.

In his first eight years with the Hawkeyes, Heller has led Iowa to six 30-win seasons. The Hawkeyes also won the first-ever Big Ten Tournament title in school history in 2017.

Heller coached the program’s first Big Ten Pitcher of the Year in 2021 in Trenton Wallace — who was drafted by the Blue Jays in the 11th round of the 2021 MLB Draft.

Dave DiIanni

After a surprising season, women’s soccer head coach Dave DiIanni’s contract now runs through June 2026.

Iowa ended the regular season with a 2-7-1 record, but won four games in a row in the 2021 Big Ten Tournament to claim the program’s first-ever conference title.

With an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, Hawkeye soccer made history again with its first-ever NCAA Tournament win against Campbell.

Megan Menzel

Women’s golf head coach Megan Menzel’s contract now runs through June 2024. 

Menzel led the Hawkeyes to four top-four finishes in 2021, including a team win at the UNI Spring Invite.

Sophomore Morgan Goldstein finished inside the top-25 in six of eight tournaments.

Sasha Schmid

Iowa women’s tennis head coach Sasha Schmid’s contract now runs through June 2024.

With a Big Ten-only slate, Schmid led the Hawkeyes to the best conference record in program history in 2020-21 with 12 wins.

Schmid also coached Hawkeye freshman Alexa Noel to a Big Ten Player and Freshman of the Year award and All-American status — firsts in Iowa tennis program history.

The Hawkeyes ended the 2020-21 season ranked No. 41 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. 

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