Friday, September 03, 2010

UI To Extend Ferentz's Contract

Iowa's head football coach to be a Hawkeye until 2020

Sept. 2, 2010

IOWA CITY, Iowa - - The University of Iowa announced today it will extend Kirk Ferentz's contract with the intention that he will be like his predecessor, Hayden Fry, and serve as the head coach of the UI's football program for more than two decades. UI officials expect the contract to be signed Friday.

Ferentz will begin his 12th season as Iowa's football head coach Saturday when the nationally ranked Hawkeyes entertain Eastern Illinois at historic Kinnick Stadium.

The extension puts Ferentz under contract with the UI through the 2020 college football season.

"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," said Gary Barta, the UI's director of athletics, who also noted that Ferentz's experience at the UI also includes eight years in the 1980's as a member of Fry's coaching staff.

"Kirk's `fit' at Iowa and his desire to live and work here is as strong as any I've seen. The continuity and leadership he brings as our head coach and the same among his staff of assistant coaches provides us a great foundation and important stability," Barta added. "I am grateful to the University of Iowa and thrilled to begin my 12th season as head coach and 21st overall with this world class institution. The players, coaching staff, and I are looking forward to competing this season," said Ferentz.

Much like Fry - and former UI coach Forest Evashevski, who will have a street on the UI campus named in his honor Friday morning - Ferentz has raised the level of achievement by the Hawkeyes while providing the UI Athletics Department significant stability in a key leadership position during the last 11 seasons, a stay that ranks second only to Penn State University's Joe Paterno in years of service among Big Ten Conference head football coaches.

Ferentz is one of only eight coaches in the NCAA's Football Bowl Subdivision who has been head coach at the same school since the 1999 season. The members of the "Class of 1999" who are still at the same school that hired them includes only Ferentz, Mack Brown (Texas), Randy Edsall (Connecticut), and Bob Stoops (Oklahoma).

The average years of service for the 10 position and strength and conditioning coaches that report directly to Ferentz is 10 years. Like Ferentz, offensive coordinator Ken O'Keefe, defensive coordinator Norm Parker, and Chris Doyle, the football program's director of strength and conditioning, all are entering their 12th season in Iowa City. So, too, are position coaches Phil Parker (defensive backs) and Eric Johnson (tight ends and recruiting coordinator).

In addition, Iowa is one of only 11 NCAA FBS programs to have the same full-time coaching staff in 2010 for the third straight year.

Ferentz's total annual compensation under the new agreement will be $3,675,000. This total is comprised of annual base income of $1.87 million, an increase of $250,000, and annual supplemental compensation of $1.48 million, an increase of $80,000. Ferentz will also receive annual longevity compensation beginning in 2010. That amount starts at $325,000 and increases annually.

A three-time winner of the Big Ten Coach of the Year award and the Associated Press National Coach of the Year in 2002 when Iowa made its first of two appearances in a Bowl Championship Series event, Ferentz will enter 2010 as the highest paid coach in the Big Ten Conference and will rank among the highest nationally.

Ferentz and the members of his staff will also continue to be eligible for bonuses based on performance. Barta said those bonuses are competitive with those available to coaches across the country who have achieved at the level Ferentz has as head coach of the Hawkeyes.

"Kirk's leadership is invaluable, and our success in the sport of football has a direct and significant impact on all of our other 23 sports," said Barta.

Ferentz's 2010 Iowa squad is coming off an 11-2 season a year ago that included a 24-14 victory over Georgia Tech in the 2010 FedEx Orange Bowl. That win was Iowa's first in a Bowl Championship Series event since Evashevski guided the Hawkeyes to a 38-12 victory over California in the 1959 Rose Bowl.

The Hawkeyes enter 2010 picked among the teams to contend for the 2010 Big Ten Conference championship and the conference's automatic entry in the Rose Bowl game. A championship would be the Hawkeyes' third under Ferentz; Iowa won or shared titles in 2002 and 2004, and placed second to Ohio State a year ago after having taken the Buckeyes into overtime in the team's game last season in Columbus, Ohio.

The significant impact of the success of the 2009 Hawkeyes was highlighted last month when the UI Athletics Department announced that all seven games on Iowa's 2010 schedule had reached sellout status. Iowa will enter Saturday's home opener having sold out 42 of its last 44 home games, a total that includes a stretch of 36 straight sellouts from 2002 to 2008.

Iowa is one of eight college football programs in the nation to compete in six January bowl games in the last eight seasons. The Hawkeyes have also been bowl eligible in each of the last nine seasons.

Under Ferentz's direction student-athletes in Iowa's football program have also competed successfully in the classroom. For example, the football program's most recent Graduation Success Rate of 74 percent ranked second best among the 10 teams that competed in the five 2010 BCS games.

"Kirk is arguably the best football coach in the country. Beyond that, he and his wife, Mary, are world-class people who care deeply about the University and the state," Barta said.

Coach Institution Total Years First Season
1--Joe Paterno Penn State 44 1966
2--Frank Beamer Virginia Tech 23 1987
3--Larry Blakeney Troy 19 1991
4--Pat Hill Fresno State 13 1997
5--Kirk Ferentz Iowa 11 1999
Mack Brown Texas 11 1999
Bob Stoops Oklahoma 11 1999
Randy Edsall Connecticut 11 1999
Coach Institution Total Years First Season
1--Joe Paterno Penn State 44 1966
2--Kirk Ferentz Iowa 11 1999

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