Iowa's Kirk Ferentz lands new deal worth $4.5M annually through 2025 season

Chad Leistikow

IOWA CITY, Ia. — Kirk Ferentz’s potential “retirement contract” was made official Tuesday, with the University of Iowa announcing an extension through the 2025 season for its longtime football coach.

Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz watches a replay against Miami (Ohio) on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016, at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City.

The deal will pay Ferentz $4.5 million yearly in total compensation, the school said. The deal expires Jan. 31, 2026.

But in his first comments reacting to the news, Ferentz dismissed that the extension signified an end date for his tenure at Iowa.

"I'm not sure I want to put a cap on anything. I'm not big on putting caps on things," Ferentz said during the Big Ten Conference coaches' teleconference. "I'm just really thrilled to get it done. Just excited. I feel really, really fortunate and very honored to be the head coach at Iowa."

Ferentz would be coaching at age 70 when the final year of the new deal winds down.

Ferentz’s previous contract extension, signed in 2010 after Iowa’s 11-2 Orange Bowl-winning season, pushed his salary to $4 million a season — at that time one of college football’s biggest contracts — and extended him through the 2019 season.

In the five years after signing that deal, Ferentz assembled a pedestrian 34-30 record – raising fan-base angst about a buyout number that was still around $13 million entering the 2015 season. But last year, Ferentz rebooted the Hawkeye program and led a record-setting 12-2, Rose Bowl-bound season.

In July, at the Big Ten Conference’s media days, athletics director Gary Barta said “the goal is, I think — for him and for me — is for this to be his last contract, his retirement contract.”

Kirk Ferentz: Iowa football contract through Jan. 31, 2026

Asked then about retirement, Ferentz (who turned 61 on Aug. 1) spoke as if that was barely a thought.

“As you might have figured out by now, it’s one of my goals to remain at Iowa,” said Ferentz, who owns a 128-87 record at Iowa — ranking No. 8 all-time among Big Ten coaches in wins. “I love coaching there, and the university’s been great not only to myself but our entire family.

“I get a little nervous about that 'R' word. That’s way down the road, hopefully. It’s just been a lot of fun to coach there, and we’re real excited about what’s in front of us.”

Further contract details, such as buyout figures, were not immediately available from the UI.

Ferentz, off to a 1-0 start in his 18th season at Iowa, is scheduled to meet Iowa media at around 1:15 p.m. Tuesday.