When the year is 2025 and the world’s wasp population has overthrown the human race, you can still count on Kirk Ferentz being the head coach of the Iowa Hawkeyes.
Today, Iowa athletic director Gary Barta announced that Ferentz had signed an extension through the 2025 season*. The Tweet:
His current contract was set to expire in January of 2020 at the rate of $4 million a year. This new deal will bump Ferentz’s pay to $4.5 million and offer performance based incentives. Per Mas Casa, the assistants are along for the ride:
Six year extension through the 2025 season. Assistants are tied into this.— marcmorehouse (@marcmorehouse) September 6, 2016
There haven’t been any details released about the buyout but we know that the last time around, in 2010, it was approximately 65% per year of his $4 million salary. [ED NOTE: CORRECTION, 75%] Considering the backlash and mumblings about the buyout following the 2015 TaxSlayer Bowl, we should expect it to be a lower percentage of his salary.
There was a whole lot of fluffing done by Barta in the release, so we’ll spare you and just get down to the brass tacks. As it stands this season, true freshman on the roster could’ve potentially faced entering their senior year with a new head coach. Iowa’s recruiting class, currently ranked 23rd in the nation by Rivals.com, has elite players that want some assurance that Kirk Ferentz is going to be their coach when they graduate. With the 2015 season, the new facilities and Iowa Football on the upswing, this was a business decision.
Now…2026? That might be a bit much. Ferentz is already 61 and assuming he survives the contract, he’ll be 70 by the time he retires (assuming he retires). Hayden Fry retired at the age of 69, and by then Iowa was left in poor shape due to his declining health. It’s rare to see a Social Security-eligible coach succeed in college football and head coaches seem to be getting younger and younger. Let’s just hope that Coach Ferentz will continue to adapt and that New Kirk 5.0 will be successful in in 2025 as he was in 2015.
Congratulations, Coach Ferentz.
* - It’s worth noting that the e-mail sent out by the Iowa SID originally stated through the 2026 season and Hawkeye Sports also sent out a conflicting release.