Big raises for Iowa football assistant coaches, led by Phil Parker's $1.3 million salary

When Kirk Ferentz signed a new contract Dec. 31 that extended his run as Iowa head football coach through the 2029 season, one of the stipulations was that his 10 on-field assistant coaches would get a significant boost, to $7 million annually as a group.

Those numbers have come in, and as expected, Ferentz's assistants are cashing in on big raises across the board.

Defensive coordinator Phil Parker remains Ferentz's highest-paid assistant coach, with a $200,000 raise boosting his salary to $1.3 million annually before bonuses. That is an 18% bump after Ferentz last year made him his first million-dollar assistant.

Iowa's defense shined in 2021, finishing No. 17 nationally in total defense while finishing third in takeaways (30), including a school-record 25 interceptions. The Hawkeyes' defense is projected to perform well again in 2022 with several key starters returning including preseason all-Americans Jack Campbell and Riley Moss. 

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The salary figures arrived Friday via documents obtained by the USA TODAY Network through an open-records request. 

Running backs coach Ladell Betts received the biggest pay raise percentage-wise, at 52%. Offensive-line coach George Barnett and strength coach Raimond Braithwaite also received 50% raises. Braithwaite's increase of $225,000 was the most, dollars-wise, on the list.

The 11 coaches' base salaries (10 on-field coaches plus the strength coach) are as follows:

  • Phil Parker, defensive coordinator/defensive backs $1.3 million (up from $1.1 million)
  • Brian Ferentz, offensive coordinator/quarterbacks, $900,000 (up from $860,000).
  • Seth Wallace, assistant defensive coordinator/linebackers, $700,000 (up from $560,000).
  • Raimond Braithwaite, strength and conditioning, $675,000 (up from $425,000)
  • LeVar Woods, special-teams coordinator, $625,000 (up from $440,000).
  • George Barnett, offensive line, $600,000 (up from $400,000).
  • Kelvin Bell, defensive line, $575,000 (up from $425,000).
  • Kelton Copeland, wide receivers, $460,000 (up from $340,000).
  • Jay Niemann, assistant defensive line, $460,000 (up from $340,000).
  • Ladell Betts, running backs, $380,000 (up from $250,000)
  • Abdul Hodge, tight ends, $275,000 (new hire).    

Five of the six highest pay raises, percentage-wise, were to Black assistants: Betts (52%), Braithwaite (50%), Woods (42%), Bell (35%) and Copeland (35%).

Brian Ferentz received the lowest pay bump among the assistants, at 4.65%. His offense ranked 121st out of 130 FBS teams last season.

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Additionally, in March the university announced that it will fund a one-time bonus pool of $500,000 for the 10 on-field assistant coaches, the head strength and conditioning coach and four assistant strength and conditioning coaches the director of football operations (Paul Federici), the director of recruiting (Tyler Barnes), and the director of player personnel (Scott Southmayd). The payout on that amount has not yet been publicly disclosed. 

Notably, assistant-coach pay raises were given retroactively to Jan. 1. 

The Register's Chad Leistikow and USA TODAY's Steve Berkowitz contributed to this report.