- Adam Rittenberg, ESPN Staff Writer
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Kirk Ferentz and Iowa have agreed to a contract extension that should keep the Big Ten's second-longest tenured coach in place for the foreseeable future.
Ferentz, who just completed his 10th season in Iowa City, received a new seven-year contract that runs through the 2015 season. His previous extension, awarded in November 2004, ran through June 2012.
Terms of the new agreement are being finalized, but the school said Ferentz's salary and bonus structure won't change; last year, his average annual salary was $2.84 million. His assistant coaches will be able to receive additional compensation if they meet certain goals.
"Kirk Ferentz has shown over a 20-year period he loves the university and the state of Iowa," athletic director Gary Barta said in a statement. "He is a great fit for the Hawkeye program. As our head coach the past 10 years, he's proven himself to be a winner and a strong leader of the Hawkeye program. I'm thrilled to have him as Iowa's head football coach.
Ferentz is 70-53 in 10 seasons at Iowa.
Barta and Ferentz began discussing the contract last month after Iowa vaulted into the final polls at No. 20 following an Outback Bowl victory against South Carolina. Ferentz, a former NFL assistant, had been mentioned as a candidate for head-coaching vacancies in both Cleveland and Kansas City, where his friend Scott Pioli took over as Chiefs general manager.
Ferentz, one of the nation's highest-paid college coaches, brushed off rumors of a return to the NFL and will instead be back with a team he has guided to two Big Ten championships and five January bowl games.
He fell under fire last year after three middling seasons and a string of player arrests, including an alleged sexual assault involving two former Hawkeyes. But Iowa went 9-4 last fall, including a victory over then-unbeaten Penn State, and saw disciplinary issues decline.
"I continue to consider it an honor to coach at the University of Iowa and I am very appreciative of the university extending my contract," Ferentz said in a statement. "Gary Barta and president [Sally] Mason have been very supportive of our efforts. I feel fortunate to be at Iowa and I am very excited about the future of our program."
Adam Rittenberg covers the Big Ten for ESPN.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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