Iowa announced on Tuesday that it has inked a deal that will keep Tom Brands under contract as its wrestling coach through the 2017 season.
The contract extension pushes Brands’ average annual salary to $225,800 over the next five seasons and brings him closer to the most compensated coaches in the country. He also could collect annual longevity bonuses that would total $285,000 if he fulfills the life of the contract.
“I know we’re biased, but I believe Tom Brands is the best wrestling coach in the country,” Iowa athletic director Gary Barta said in a statement released by the school. “He’s done an incredible job competing, recruiting, setting high expectations in the classroom and developing character in young men. He approaches everything he does with intensity and integrity.”
Brands, 44, guided the Hawkeyes to three national titles and a 111-10-1 record in duals during his first six seasons as head coach. He took over the program in the spring of 2006 and signed a deal that paid him a base salary of $95,000 plus an additional $20,000 in funds from the school’s youth wrestling camp.
The school extended his contract and bumped his pay up to $150,000 following the 2008 season when Brands led the Hawkeyes to their first NCAA title in eight seasons. Iowa followed that with two more national championships and three consecutive unbeaten dual seasons.
The Hawkeyes have finished third at the NCAA Championships each of the past two seasons.
“It’s always been our mission to win championships and win them the right way,” Brands said. “We’re not satisfied with the status quo. I understand and respect Iowa’s tradition, and we’ll continue to embrace the championship mentality that’s always defined this program.”
Brands can collect $25,000 for each top-three finish at the NCAA Championships and an additional $25,000 for a national title. There are also incentives in the contract for tournament titles at the Big Ten Championships ($30,000), National Duals ($10,000) and Midlands ($10,000), along with academic-based rewards.
The deal pushes Brands closer to the highest-paid coaches in the country. Oklahoma State reportedly bumped the salary of coach John Smith up to $284,980 after the 2011 season. The Harrisburg (Pa.) Patriot-News reported last November that Penn State has paid coach Cael Sanderson as much as $500,000.