The University of Iowa announced today a contract extension for head football coach Kirk Ferentz through the 2026 season. The announcement was made by Gary Barta, UI director of athletics. The extension was finalized and signed Tuesday.
Ferentz began his 18th season as Iowa’s head football coach Saturday when the nationally-ranked Hawkeyes defeated Miami University, 45-21. Ferentz’s previous contract extended through the 2020 season.
“I’ve said it many times, I would like Kirk to retire as a Hawkeye, and this contract is a strong statement toward that commitment,” said Barta. “Kirk’s dedication to the football program and the University of Iowa has brought national attention and recognition to the Hawkeyes for nearly 20 years.
“Kirk is one of the top coaches in country. His commitment to winning, graduating student-athletes, and doing things the right way is unmatched by any program or coach,” added Barta. “There is strong momentum surrounding the Hawkeye football program. Whether it’s on the field, recruiting, academics, facilities, or with his staff, we’re achieving at a high level today, and are well positioned for continued success for years to come.”
Ferentz is one of only two coaches in the NCAA’s Football Bowl Subdivision who has been head coach at the same school since the 1999 season, joining Iowa alumnus Bob Stoops (Oklahoma) as the longest tenured head coach in the nation. Ferentz was a Hawkeye assistant coach under Hayden Fry for nine seasons (1981-89).
“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,” said Ferentz. “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.
“Iowa is home to me, my wife, Mary, and our five children,” added Ferentz. “We moved a lot during the early years of coaching, but once we arrived in Iowa City - this quickly became our home. We appreciate and value what it is to be an Iowan and an Iowa Hawkeye.”
Among the Iowa football coaching staff – defensive coordinator Phil Parker and director of strength and conditioning Chris Doyle -- have been part of the program throughout Ferentz’s tenure. Defensive line coach Reese Morgan has been a member of the staff for 16 seasons.
“Kirk represents what we celebrate in our state and at our university; hard work, relentless pursuit of doing the little things right, and humbleness that allows the success of others to shine through,” said Harreld. “His and Mary’s generosity toward our community and state is remarkable, and I look forward to having him lead our program for years to come.”
Ferentz’s total annual compensation under the new agreement will be $4,500,000. Ferentz and the members of his staff will also continue to be eligible for bonuses based on performance.
Ferentz is a four-time winner of the Big Ten Coach of the Year Award, including 2015 when Iowa posted a school-record 12 wins while claiming the Big Ten’s West Division title. Ferentz was the Bobby Dodd, Eddie Robinson, and Woody Hayes national Coach of the Year last season.
Ferentz was Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2002, 2004, and 2009, was named 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 holds a record of 128-87 as Iowa’s head coach and ranks seventh all-time in Big Ten coaching victories and eighth in overall wins among Big Ten Conference football coaches.
Football student-athletes under Ferentz have also performed well in the classroom. Thirteen Hawkeyes have earned Academic All-America recognition under Ferentz, including first team honors on eight occasions. Iowa players have earned Academic All-Big Ten honors on 234 occasions.
The Iowa football program annually ranks above its peers and near the top of the Big Ten Conference in the NCAA’s Graduation Success Rate (GSR) and Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores. Iowa football reported its all-time high score in the NCAA’s most recent APR report in April.
Ferentz’s 2016 Iowa squad is coming off a 12-2 season that included its first appearance in the Big Ten Championship Game and an appearance in the 2016 Rose Bowl Game, Iowa’s first trip to Pasadena in 25 years. Ferentz has led Iowa to 13 bowl appearances.
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