After leading the Iowa State men’s basketball program to the NCAA Sweet 16 for the first time since 2015-16 and the third-best turnaround in NCAA history in his debut season on the Cyclone bench, head coach T.J. Otzelberger has been rewarded with a contract extension and salary increase, ISU Director of Athletics Jamie Pollard announced today.
“T.J. Otzelberger and his staff orchestrated arguably the greatest turnaround in college basketball history this past year, inheriting a two-win program and leading it to 22 victories and the Sweet 16 in their first season, and I’m grateful that we are able to reward that success with this extension,” Pollard said. “I believe T.J. is building a championship culture within our program that fosters academic excellence, on-court success and accountability, and I believe that the momentum our program enjoys will lead to future success under his direction.”
Otzelberger’s contract now runs through June 30, 2027, and his additional guaranteed compensation will increase from $700,000 annually to $1.2M effective immediately with an annual increase of $100,000 starting on July 1, 2023. All other terms of his original contract are unchanged.
Otzelberger’s debut season in Ames produced a 22-13 overall record, the school’s 21st NCAA Tournament bid and sixth Sweet 16 appearance en route to a season-ending ranking of No. 23 in the coaches poll. ISU registered the third-best improvement in NCAA history, a +20-win improvement over the program’s 2020-21 record. That 20-win improvement trailed only Towson (+21) and Middle Tennessee (+21) on the all-time charts.
Unanimously picked last in the Big 12 Conference preseason poll, the Cyclones defied all odds in making the NCAA Tournament and finishing seventh in the nation’s toughest conference. ISU climbed as high as No. 8 in the Associated Press Top 25 and was ranked for a total of 10 weeks during the season as it was one of the nation’s last two undefeated teams before falling to an unbeaten Baylor squad in the conference opener for both teams.
Otzelberger became the eighth head coach in school history to lead the Cyclones to the NCAA Tournament, and just the third coach in NCAA Tournament history to lead his program to the Sweet 16 in the first season after taking over a team with a losing record the previous year. The 11th-seeded Cyclones advanced to the Sweet 16 with wins over LSU and Wisconsin before falling to Miami, Fla., in the Sweet 16.