Iowa football: Kirk Ferentz is 17th highest paid head coach

IOWA CITY, IOWA- SEPTEMBER 23: Head coach James Franklin of the Penn State Nittany Lions visits with head coach Kirk Ferentz of the Iowa Hawkeyes before their match-up on September 23, 2017 at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa. (Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images)
IOWA CITY, IOWA- SEPTEMBER 23: Head coach James Franklin of the Penn State Nittany Lions visits with head coach Kirk Ferentz of the Iowa Hawkeyes before their match-up on September 23, 2017 at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa. (Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images) /
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Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley received a salary raise to make him the 9th highest paid head coach. Where does Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz stand now?

When the news broke that Iowa football head coach Kirk Ferentz received a contract extension in 2016, it was met with much criticism. Most notably, college football fans criticized the Iowa football program extending a coach with that much money for what they considered to be a string of above average, but not great seasons. The contract extension prior to the 2016 restructure was even more outlandish (according to fans), placing Kirk firmly in the top ten of the head coach salaries.

However, as the years progress, Kirk’s salary is beginning to look like a relative bargain especially considering his strong integrity and ability to churn out NFL talent on a regular basis.

As college football salaries rise, Kirk Ferentz’s contract (that runs through 2026) just keeps getting bumped down the list of highest paid head coaches.

Today, Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley received a raise that moved him from the spot above Kirk to ninth overall on the list, moving the median salary of a head coach up and closer to Kirk’s $4.7 million salary.

When looking at the list of head coaches salaries, Kirk is actually in the middle of the pack of Big Ten coaches and very close to being on the outside looking in at the top-20 head coach salaries.

His modest salary sits below that of Penn State’s James Franklin, Illinois’ Lovie Smith, Nebraska’s Scott Frost, Ohio State’s Ryan Day (there aren’t specifics on total compensation, but Day will be making a base salary of $4.5 million with plenty of incentives to push past Ferentz), and Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh. For those of you counting at home, the Iowa football team finished better than two of those teams and had a talented enough team to beat Penn State as well.

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It’s only a matter of time before Kirk’s $4.5 million is actually lower than Kirk’s market worth. It’s funny to think that after looking back on the general concern just a few years ago over Kirk’s salary.