Iowa Men's Basketball

Fran McCaffery, Iowa agreed to contract extension in November with hefty buyout

New deal keeps him in Iowa City through 2023

Iowa men's basketball head coach Fran McCaffery. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Iowa men’s basketball head coach Fran McCaffery. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — University of Iowa men’s basketball coach Fran McCaffery quietly agreed to a two-year contract extension in late November with a hefty buyout, according to a published report Thursday from Land of 10.

McCaffery’s new deal has him coaching the Hawkeyes through June 2023, bumped to June 2024 if Iowa makes the NCAA tournament anytime in the next six seasons. Details of the extension were never announced publicly but acquired via a Freedom Of Information Act request.

McCaffery’s original contract extension, signed in the summer of 2016, ran through June 2022.

“Fran and I had discussions and reached a verbal agreement in regard to updating his contract during the summer,” said Iowa athletics director Gary Barta, in a statement released by the school. “The process was put on hold during my health related absence from the office this fall, but then finalized in November. I’m enthused with the leadership Fran has provided our men’s basketball program and excited for the immediate and long-term future of the program.”

“I am grateful for the opportunity to lead this program for many more years,” McCaffery said in a statement. “I am thankful to Gary Barta and President Bruce Harreld for their tremendous support and commitment to Hawkeye basketball. It is a great honor to represent the University of Iowa and coach the young men in our program. We remain excited about our current players and where they are taking us as a program in the coming years.”

The biggest news in the current extension is Iowa owes McCaffery a $10.2-million buyout if it elects to fire him before July. That number originally was $4.6 million.

The buyout number is $9 million if he is fired before July 2019 and decreases annually from there. If McCaffery were to leave for another job, he would owe Iowa $2 million, an increase of $1 million from his previous contract.


McCaffery, Barta and Harreld signed the contract extension on Nov. 29, a day after Iowa lost to Virginia Tech in the Big Ten/ACC Shootout, 79-55, dropping its record to 4-3. The Hawkeyes are 11-11 this season and 2-7 in the Big Ten, though they are coming off their best performance of the conference season Tuesday night, an 85-67 win over Wisconsin.

McCaffery, 58, makes $2.2 million this season. He is in his eighth season at Iowa, where his teams have made three NCAA and three NIT appearances.

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