Des Moines Register 06-03-06 Ferentz gets $1.4 million raise

Des Moines Register
Ferentz gets $1.4 million raise
That makes him the third-highest-paid U.S. college coach, according
to Register research.
University of Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz became more of a millionaire
School officials announced that Ferentz would receive an additional $1.4million
annually. That money will be paid quarterly, but some or all of the compensation
may be deferred. The school’s action raises Ferentz’s guaranteed compensation
to $2.7million annually through June 30, 2012.
In addition, Iowa also gave Ferentz an immediate payment of $1.4 million on
Friday, the last day on the job for university President David Skorton, who has
taken a similar job at Cornell University in New York.
“Coaching salaries are too high, but you pay what it takes to retain the best
people,” said Bob Bowlsby, Iowa’s outgoing athletic director.
Michael Gartner, chairman of the Iowa Board of Regents, also defended
Ferentz’s pay. The coach, in his seventh season at Iowa, earned a total of $2.08
million last season, counting incentive bonuses.
“I come from a life where I’ve dealt with television anchormen, and football
coaches are like anchormen,” said Gartner, former president of the news division
at NBC. “They’re vital to the success of the enterprise. Coach Ferentz’s salary is
reasonable, appropriate and not one bit out of line.”
Ferentz was already the state’s highest-paid public employee. Second on the list
is Iowa State University football coach Dan McCarney, who was paid
$978,225 in fiscal 2005.
Ferentz will now be the third-highest-paid college coach in the United States,
according to research by The Des Moines Register. He’ll also be paid better than
some National Football League coaches, such as Mike McCarthy, who was hired
earlier this year by the Green Bay Packers at a reported $2million a year.
“I’m very appreciative and excited about the future and challenges that lie
ahead,” Ferentz said in a telephone interview.
His teams have won two conference titles during the last four years, and have
finished the season ranked in the Top 10 three of the past four seasons.
Ferentz said he plans to donate some of his salary to charity.
“We’re in the process right now of looking into some (charitable) things,” he said.
“Our biggest focal point is giving back to the university. My wife and I are in the
process of deciding what makes the most sense.”
Ferentz, a former NFL assistant coach, has been frequently mentioned as a
future professional head coach.
Last year, speculation linked him to jobs in Houston and Green Bay, Wis.
When asked whether the new contract would end such talk, he replied:
“Coaches never say never, but I’ve been very consistent in saying that I’m happy
with my job. This is the best job I’ve ever had. It’s been a great experience, and
to me, when you’re in a situation that’s good for you professionally and good for
you on a personal basis, what more can you ask?”
Bowlsby said it was important for Iowa to keep Ferentz under contract.
The football team’s success under Ferentz has served as a motivator that has
helped generate millions of dollars in private donations for the athletic
department, according to school officials.
“If the football team fares well, fundraising goes up,” said Mark Jennings, U of I
associate athletic director in charge of development. “You have to assume the
two are somewhat correlated, but there’s no accurate way to gauge what
percentage of the giving was directly related to football.”
Ferentz’s guaranteed salary includes outside sources such as radio and
television commitments, and an apparel contract. Further details of the new
contract were not immediately available.
“I want to stress that none of the money for Coach Ferentz’s contract —
absolutely none — comes from taxpayer money,” Gartner said. “It’s all generated
through sources outside the university. ”
According to newspaper reports, Charlie Weis of Notre Dame has the highest
salary among college football coaches at $3.3million a year, while Southern
California’s Pete Carroll is No. 2 at $3 million.
Ferentz has a 49-36 coaching record at Iowa since replacing Hayden Fry after
the 1998 season, including 32-24 in the Big Ten Conference.
Ferentz’s teams have competed in four straight January bowl games worth a
combined payout of $19.2 million.
“Kirk’s value to the institution is self-evident,” Bowlsby said. “Virtually every
Division I-A school with a broad-based program is reliant on football revenue in
large measure for the well-being of the school’s total athletic program.”