This is something you don’t see often, at all, in the big-money world of college football.
Iowa confirmed Tuesday that, back in June, Kirk Ferentz‘s base salary as head coach for 2017 was reduced by $50,000, from $2.47 million to $2.42 million. “Coach’s salary for all subsequent years shall remain at the amounts listed in the Head Coach contract effective February 1, 2016,” the release added
And the reason behind the reduction? Per Ferentz, it was so the program could hire another football staffer. Specifically, the money will go toward the hiring earlier this month of Kevin Spencer, a longtime NFL assistant who will serve as a quality control assistant for the Hawkeyes this season.
“It’s to help our program,” Ferentz said according to Marc Morehouse of the Cedar Rapids Gazette. “It was something we (Ferentz and athletics director Gary Barta) agreed on and thought it would be good for the program.”
Ferentz’s total compensation for 2016, per the USA Today coaching salary database, was $4.5 million. That total was tied with Penn State’s James Franklin for third amongst Big Ten coaches and behind Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh and Ohio State’s Urban Meyer.
Ferentz is heading into his 19th season with the Hawkeyes, and is coming off a year in which they finished tied for second in the Big Ten West and finished 8-5 overall. Last week, it was announced that Ferentz and his wife, Mary, donated $1 million to the University of Iowa’s Stead Family Children’s Hospital, with the goal being to improve the survival rate for premature babies.
The Des Moines Register noted that this isn’t the first time Ferentz has left money on the table, writing that, “[i]n 2012, his contract was amended to forego a $50,000 pay increase scheduled for the next season, freezing his base salary at that time at $1.92 million.”