FILE - University of Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz

University of Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz Content Exchange

(The Center Square) – Kirk Ferentz, the head coach of the University of Iowa football team, continued to be the highest-paid public employee of the state of Iowa in fiscal year 2020, according to Open The Books.

Ferentz was appointed head football coach in 1999 and is contracted through January 2026, according to his contract with the University of Iowa, which The Center Square obtained Sept. 2.

His gross pay in fiscal year 2020 was $5.57 million, with a base pay of $2.62 million and $2,476.07 for travel expenses, according to Iowa’s State Employee Salary Book.

His base salary in 2016, mainly derived from gate receipts and television contracts, was $2.37 million with an annual $100,000 increase, his contract says. Additional income derives from shoe and apparel endorsements, camp compensation, and radio and television participation.

By January 31 of each year during which he maintains employment with the university, Ferentz receives a longevity incentive of $650,000. He receives annual supplementation compensation in quarterly installments of $370,000.

His benefits include membership for himself and his family at the University Club, two automobiles “and reasonable and appropriate” automobile insurance, and access to a private jet for up to 35 hours of flight time per year for personal use and at least 50 hours per year for approved business use.

“Such jet shall be available within 8 hours of Coach’s request to travel for business. Every effort will be made to secure donated airtime with rental using departmental funds as a second option after all attempts to secure donated time have been exhausted,” the contract says. “For either business or personal use, University shall secure two pilots for each trip and for flights that are 90 minutes or less, a King Air craft shall be satisfactory.”

Ferentz is responsible for any federal or state taxes for the benefits.

In 2020, Iowa’s 61,468 employees received $3.49 billion in annual wages, according to Open The Books.

This article originally ran on

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