Posted by: marcmwm | July 20, 2009

Ferentz’s contract here (now with Barta interview)

Kirk Ferentz and the University of Iowa agreed on a contract extension in February. The goal was to have it signed before the 2009 season started.

With Iowa’s fall camp beginning Aug. 5, the deal was signed last week and the UI announced it Monday.

Ferentz will continue to receive $3.02 million in annual salary. The big tweak is access to a private plane for up to 35 hours of personal use annually. The cost of this perk could be as much as $85,000, the UI estimated. The UI athletics department will pay for it with contributions from the national I-Club.

“Kirk is well paid and he agrees and is grateful for that,” UI athletics director Gary Barta said. “He hasn’t had a raise in three years, but what we did talk about was the addition of access to an airplane.”

In the contract he signed in 2008, Ohio State coach Jim Tressel is allowed to use the OSU jet for 20 hours a year.

“Just with the craziness of the 24-7 nature of the job, it just helps ease that a little bit,” Barta said. “When we ask him to be several places over the period of a few weeks, when he does need some personal time, some vacation time, he does have access to an airplane.

“In lieu of a raise, we put this together, something that a lot of schools or professional teams have.”

Ferentz’s contract will keep him second among Big Ten coaches in salary. Only Tressel earns more at $3.5 million a season.

The contract runs through the 2015 season, which would be Ferentz’s 17th season as head coach and 27th overall at the University of Iowa. Ferentz spent nine seasons as offensive line coach for Hayden Fry before replacing Fry in December 1998.

Ferentz will begin his 11th season as Iowa’s head coach Sept. 5 against Northern Iowa. He has a 70-53 record at Iowa.

When Ferentz signed on as Iowa’s coach Dec. 2, 1998, he coached 20 games without having a signed contract. The hold up then was “separation language.” This time, it was simply time.

Between recruiting, I-Club events and summer camps, neither side could find a decent window to finalize the deal. The years of the contract were important for both sides, Barta said.

“Kirk and I agreed we wouldn’t let it get into the football season, because certainly you don’t want something like this to distract from your team,” Barta said. “It was important but it wasn’t urgent (to have the contract signed). As long as we were comfortable and had it done before the football season and here we are on July 20.”

Player conduct isn’t addressed in the new contract and wasn’t discussed, Barta said. Since mid-April 2007, 26 Iowa football players have been arrested or issued citations. Twenty of the players had charges or citations related to alcohol or drug use/possession.

“In my opinion, two years ago, we had off-the-field issues that reached a high level of concern,” Barta said, “but even in those, even though the behavior wasn’t acceptable, Kirk’s response . . . several players are no longer with our program because of that behavior. He has been swift in his discipline.

“When we have issues off the field, I think Kirk handles it with integrity, consistency and discipline. I would love to say we’d never have another off-field issue, but I know that’s not the case. What I am confident of is that when they occur, Kirk is going to handle it appropriately with integrity and with discipline.”

According to the contract, the financial aspects of the contract can’t be renegotiated within three years of signing.

“We have no tax dollars involved and so in order for us to run 24 sports, football and men’s basketball have to be successful,” Barta said. “So, when you have someone like Kirk, who’s a proven winner, it’s so great to have that continuity.”



  1. Very pleased that we signed KF to an extension. Although very unrealistic, I hope that KF stays at Iowa for the remainder of his coaching career. I would not trade him for anyone, including Urban Meyer.

    With that said, this contract is certainly not a model of excellence in terms of contract drafting. It is hard to believe that the University would draft something written so poorly.

    Go Hawks!

  2. At this point in his career I see him retiring from Iowa just like Hayden.

    We’ve heard it from him a thousand times about how the KF’s love IC and have been there for basically 20 years of their marriage. Kids have spent most of their lives there, relationships that have been developed etc…

    He knows how well he has it, and is a very smart man, so what could entice him to leave? I don’t see an NFL gig intriguing him anymore and does anyone thinks he leaves here for another college gig?

  3. Legal writing is different from what you see here. Contracts read like this. I don’t know if they all do.

    One thing people don’t give Ferentz a lot of credit for is that he’s been here 20 years. That’s longer than a lot of people who post about Iowa football.

  4. […] […]

  5. Marc- I think that is a really important point you made regarding KF’s tenure at Iowa. Are there any coaches in the country (other than Joe Pa and Bowden) that can make that same claim?

    Sorry for not being more clear on my earlier comment, I was commenting on the poor draftsmanship based on my perspective as a lawyer. (Please do not hold that fact against me)

    As a side comment, are all of the preseason magazines available in stores?

    Go Hawks!

  6. Some interesting headline writing from your counterparts at the Des Moines Register.

    Kirk signs what is really a 3-year extension, the Register reports it as Kirk signing a 7-year contract.

    The coverage that this newspaper gives Iowa Football runs circles around anything the Register puts out – keep up the good work.

  7. AM — I think they all are. By now, they’d probably better be. I used to really like Sporting News, but now I don’t know if they even have one. I write for Lindy’s. I do the Iowa preview. They’ve never asked me to weigh in on preseason predictions. Thankfully.

    Lawyer? I have to do a will here pretty quickly. I just want to declare and I know it’s the smart thing.

  8. Doug — Thank you very much. This job is fun and I love it. I’m doing it until they tell me it’s time to hit the road. Hopefully, that’ll be a while.

    I talked to Gary Barta today and will have that story up later tonight.

    It’s a contract extension with no raise and a few tweaks in percentages for assistants. The plane thing is new, but it’s keeping up with the Joneses. Jim Tressel has the same deal. Actually, he only gets 20 hours on the OSU jet (did I really just write that sentence, only 20 hours on the OSU jet?).

    Thanks again, Doug.

  9. The plane usage clause is for personal use. I would expect anything remotely tied to Univ business (e.g. recruiting) would not be counted against his 35 hrs.

  10. You are correct, MF. It wouldn’t necessarily be used for recruiting trips or I-Club travel.

    A flight to Hawaii would eat up about half, right?

  11. Depends on how fast the plane is I suppose. I would assume ground time is not counted although you generally pay for that when taking a private plane. Unless the Univ owns the plane and isn’t leasing it on per flight basis.

  12. I know the UI doesn’t own a jet. I imagine it’s a per-flight thingie.

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