Iowa football head coach Kirk Ferentz extended through 2029 season

The longest-tenured head football coach in NCAA history will be 74 when his contract expires following the 2029 season.


Grace Smith

Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz walks down the sideline during the Big Ten Championship game between No. 13 Iowa and No. 2 Michigan at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana, on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021. The Wolverines became Big Ten Champions after defeating the Hawkeyes, 42-3.

Chloe Peterson, Assistant Sports Editor

The University of Iowa extended football head coach Kirk Ferentz’s contract for five years, it was announced Friday.

The 66-year-old’s current contract runs through 2025, and the extension will put Ferentz at Iowa through the 2029 season. Ferentz will be 74 at the conclusion of his contract.

“I am grateful to President Barb Wilson and Athletics Director Gary Barta for their continued support of our program,” Ferentz said in a release Friday. “I am proud of the success that we have achieved in Iowa City the past 23 years and look forward to many more years of competing at the highest level.”

Ferentz is the longest-tenured football coach in the NCAA. He just completed his 23rd year as Iowa’s head coach.

Iowa went 10-4 in 2021 for the Hawkeyes’ seventh 10-win season in Ferentz’s tenure. The Hawkeyes also made a Big Ten Championship Game appearance in 2021 and competed in the Citrus Bowl. Ferentz is 9-9 in bowl games.

“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,” Barta said in the release. “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.”

Ferentz will be paid $7 million annually under his new contract. He will have a base salary of $500,000 with $5.5 million in supplemental compensation and an annual $1 million longevity bonus. He will earn $48 million guaranteed over eight contract years unless terminated with cause.

Ferentz earned a $5 million base salary in 2021 with $925,000 in bonuses.

Will and Renee Moon, the owners of the World’s Largest Truck Stop on Interstate 80 near Walcott, Iowa, endowed the Iowa football head coaching position in March 2021. The Moon family donated $10 million to fund Hawkeye football and other athletics projects.

“This contract extension would not be possible without substantial private support,” Barta said in the release. “The pandemic has presented Iowa Athletics with significant financial challenges. We are grateful to the many donors and fans who have contributed directly toward the success of Hawkeye football.”

Ferentz started at Iowa as an offensive line coach in 1981 under former head Hawkeye Hayden Fry. Ferentz was at Iowa from 1981-89 and left to become the University of Maine’s head coach for three seasons.

After a stint in the NFL as an offensive line coach under Bill Belichick, Ferentz returned to Iowa as the head Hawkeye in 1998 to replace the retiring Fry.

“Over his three decades with Iowa, coach Ferentz has led our football program with tremendous success and integrity, showcasing how athletics can be an enriching experience for our student-athletes and a corridor for many to learn about our remarkable university,” University of Iowa President Barb Wilson said in the release. “This contract reflects our commitment to Kirk and Mary as members of our Hawkeye family.”

In 2019, Ferentz eclipsed Fry as Iowa football’s all-time winningest coach. Ferentz now has 178 total career wins — fourth in Big Ten Conference history. He also has 110 league victories.

The Hawkeyes have finished the season within the AP Top 25 for four consecutive years. Iowa concluded the 2021 season with a No. 23 ranking in the AP Top 25.

The Hawkeyes will kick off the 2022 season on Sept. 3 against South Dakota State.

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