Nine head coaches of University of Iowa intercollegiate athletic programs have received contract extensions. The announcement was made Monday by Gary Barta, Henry B. and Patricia B. Tippie Director of Athletics Chair.
Head coaches in the sports of men’s basketball (Fran McCaffery), wrestling (Tom Brands), baseball (Rick Heller), women’s soccer (Dave DiIanni), women’s basketball (Lisa Bluder), women’s golf (Megan Menzel), softball (Renee Gillispie), field hockey (Lisa Cellucci) and women’s tennis (Sasha Schmid) had their contracts extended. A number of assistant coaches in several sports also received contract extensions.
“It is with great pleasure that we are able to reward our head coaches in these sports with contract extensions and adjustments,” said Barta. “I am proud of our coaches, staff and student-athletes for their successes in competition, but just as importantly for the professionalism displayed in going about their business, both athletically and academically, throughout a very difficult time due to COVID-19.”
The overall success of Iowa athletics in 2020-21 included six Big Ten Conference championships, the NCAA national championship in wrestling and an NCAA Final Four appearance by Field Hockey. Hawkeye teams won Big Ten titles in soccer (postseason), women’s gymnastics (regular season), wrestling (regular season and postseason), and men’s track and field in both the indoor and outdoor seasons. Iowa’s final ranking in the Learfield IMG College Director’s Cup (30th) marks its highest finish in the overall sports standings since 1997.
Overall, six Hawkeye head coaches earned Big Ten Coach of the Year honors, six Hawkeyes were named conference Player/Athlete of the Year, and three Hawkeyes earned Freshman of the Year honors. Sixteen of Iowa’s 24 sports programs advanced to postseason competition (team or individuals).
Over the last three seasons, McCaffery has coached Iowa to 20+ wins and NCAA Tournament victories in 2019 and 2021. Iowa earned a No. 2 seed at the 2021 NCAA Tournament, matching the highest seed in program history. This past season, he guided Iowa to 14 conference wins — the most in Big Ten play since 1987 – and eight victories over ranked opponents. McCaffery, the third longest tenured men’s basketball coach in the Big Ten, recruited and coached Luka Garza, the most decorated player in program history. Garza was a two-time Big Ten and National Player of the Year, Pete Newell Big Man of the Year, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year, and unanimous consensus first-team All-American. He rewrote Iowa’s record book earning consensus 2021 National Player of the Year laurels, including winning the prestigious Naismith Trophy, John R. Wooden Award, and Oscar Robertson Trophy. Garza broke Iowa’s career (2,306) and single-season (747) scoring records and is the only Big Ten player to amass more than 2,250 points and 900 rebounds.
McCaffery has had a player earn first-team All-Big Ten accolades over the last eight seasons. Under his direction, Iowa has registered 20 wins or more in seven of the past nine seasons and upper-division Big Ten finishes eight of the past nine years.
McCaffery’s contract now runs through June of 2028.