Iowa coaches Tom Brands, Lisa Bluder, Fran McCaffery, among others, receive contract extensions

Cody Goodwin
Hawk Central

Iowa's athletic department announced on Monday the contract extensions of nine Hawkeye head coaches, including wrestling coach Tom Brands, men's basketball coach Fran McCaffery and women's basketball coach Lisa Bluder

Brands and McCaffery's contracts were extended through June 2028, and Bluder's through June 2026. Contracts were also extended for:

  • Rick Heller, baseball, through June 2026
  • Renee Gillispie, softball, through June 2026
  • Dave Dilanni, women's soccer, through June 2026
  • Lisa Cellucci, field hockey, through June 2026
  • Megan Menzel, women's golf, through June 2024
  • and Sashsa Schmid, women's tennis, through June 2024
Iowa wrestling head coach Tom Brands speaks while being acknowledged with the 2021 national championship Hawkeyes wrestling team after a NCAA Big Ten Conference football spring practice, Saturday, April 17, 2021, at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa.

"It is with great pleasure that we are able to reward our head coaches in these sports with contract extensions and adjustments," athletic director Gary Barta said in a release.

"I am proud of our coaches, staff and student-athletes for their successes in competition, but just as importantly for the professionalism displayed in going about their business, both athletically and academically, throughout a very difficult time due to COVID-19."

Barta said he extended these contracts in recognition of Iowa's overall athletic success during the 2020-21 academic year.

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That included six total Big Ten Championships: women's soccer (tournament), women's gymnastics (regular season), wrestling (regular season and tournament) and two from the men's track and field program, both indoor and outdoor. To top the accomplishments, Brands led the Hawkeyes to the team title at the 2021 NCAA Championships, the program's 24th overall and first since 2010.

Six Iowa coaches earned Big Ten Coach of the Year honors, six athletes were named Big Ten Player of the Year in their respective sports and three were named Freshman of the Year. In total, 16 of Iowa's 24 athletic programs advanced to the postseason during the 2020-21 academic year.

Cody Goodwin covers wrestling and high school sports for the Des Moines Register. Follow him on Twitter at @codygoodwin.