Iowa's coaches have significant money on the line against Nebraska

Dr. Saturday
Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz watches from the sideline during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Purdue, Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017, in Iowa City, Iowa. Purdue won 24-15. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz watches from the sideline during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Purdue, Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017, in Iowa City, Iowa. Purdue won 24-15. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Iowa’s coaching staff has a financial incentive for the team to beat Nebraska on Friday.

As part of the contract extension coach Kirk Ferentz signed in September of 2016, Iowa’s assistant coaches will get an eight percent raise if the 6-5 Hawkeyes beat the 4-7 Huskers.

“The University will find an average salary increase of 8% for the nine on-field assistant coaches as well as the Head Strength Coach, the top Assistant Strength coach and the Director of Football Operations on July 1 after any season in which the team finished with at least 7 wins, participated in a post-season bowl game and achieved a Graduation Success Rate of at least 67.5% in the most recent calculation period,” Ferentz’s contract reads

Since Iowa is eligible for a bowl game already, the Hawkeyes will have two cracks at a seven-win season. But the raise is official as of Friday with a victory in the regular-season finale. And the GSR mark has already been reached. The latest graduation data had Iowa at 76 percent. 

We’d all love an eight percent raise, right? Well, Ferentz gets an even better deal. It’s great to be Kirk Ferentz.

If Iowa wins eight games — a win vs. Nebraska and a bowl game win — Ferentz gets $500,000 as part of his contract. And, if he’s still Iowa’s coach on Jan. 31, Ferentz gets $650,000. Yes, Ferentz can get over $1 million in bonuses over the next two months. And we haven’t even mentioned the $100,000 bonus he gets when Iowa goes to a bowl game.

Oh, if Iowa wins on Friday, it gets a lot more expensive for Ferentz to be bought out of his contract too. We told you it was really good to be Kirk Ferentz.


Ferentz and his assistants’ contracts aren’t out of the ordinary in college football. Many coaches have bonus stipulations for their team’s performance. But the timing of Ferentz’s latest extension was certainly an oddity. The extension through the 2025 season was finalized when his previous contract went through 2020.

According to USA Today’s coaching salary database, he’s the 13th-highest paid coach in college football.

Life’s good in Iowa.

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Nick Bromberg is the editor of Dr. Saturday and From the Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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