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IOWA CITY — Iowa announced contract extensions for nine of its head coaches on Monday.
The nine coaches receiving contract extensions were men’s basketball coach Fran McCaffery, wrestling coach Tom Brands, women’s basketball coach Lisa Bluder, soccer coach Dave Dilanni, field hockey coach Lisa Cellucci, softball coach Renee Gillispie, baseball coach Rick Heller, women’s golf coach Megan Menzel and women’s tennis coach Sasha Schmid.
McCaffery and Brands received the longest extensions until June 2028. McCaffery’s agreement was announced in March.
Brands has led the wrestling program to four NCAA and six Big Ten titles in 15 seasons, including championships in 2021, while also attracting the nation’s best crowds to wrestling events under his tutelage.
McCaffery recently led Iowa to its best seeding in the NCAA tournament, No. 2, and has led Iowa to 20-plus win seasons in seven of the last nine years, including 2019 and 2021. He is the third-longest tenured coach in the Big Ten and recruited the most decorated player in program history, Luka Garza.
Bluder highlighted the veteran women’s coaches extensions, both entering their 22nd seasons in the coming year. The women’s basketball team reached its eighth Sweet 16 appearance in the NCAA tournament this past season and has recorded 20 or more wins in 12 of the past 14 years. She was the 2019 Naismith College Coach of the Year, is a three-time Big Ten Coach of the Year, and recruited both now-sophomore Caitlin Clark and former national player of the year Megan Gustafson. Gustafson is the Hawkeyes’ all-time leading scorer while Clark was named a second-team AP All-American.
Cellucci saw her contract extended to 2026 as she guided the field hockey team to its 12th Final Four this season while also receiving her second consecutive Big Ten Coach of the Year honor.
This year’s historic performance by the soccer and women’s tennis teams led by Dilanni and Schmid earned contract extensions through 2026 and 2024, respectively. Dilanni led the Iowa soccer team to its first Big Ten tournament title this season, which led to first back-to-back NCAA tournament apperances. The Hawkeyes went on to capture their first NCAA tournament win over Campbell.
Schmid’s tennis team had its best conference record in school history at 12-4 and eclipsed the team’s highest national ranking since 2011 at No. 37. She also had Iowa’s first-ever Big Ten Player of the Year in Alexa Noel.
Menzel, the women’s golf coach, also saw her contract extended through 2024 as she led the Hawkeyes to four top-four tournament finishes, and coached three individual runner-up finishers this season.
Iowa baseball coach Rick Heller continues to propel the Hawkeyes to new heights. In his eight years as head coach, Heller has led Iowa to six 30-win seasons, totaling 240 wins, which is the third-most in school history. This year, Iowa baseball was home to Big Ten Pitcher of the Year Trenton Wallace. Heller’s contract was extended through June 2026.
As the newest head coach of the group, Gillispie signed a contract extension through June 2026. In 2021 Gillispie led the softball team to its best regular-season conference finish since 2012 and set a new program record with 26 conference wins.
Details of contracts to come.
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