Iowa basketball coach Fran McCaffery said Tuesday that a 2013 NCAA Tournament bid for his team is “a legitimate goal, yes. It’s definitely achievable.”
If the Hawkeyes get the school’s first NCAA berth since 2006 next March, McCaffery’s new seven-year contract released by the university Tuesday will get even sweeter.
McCaffery, 53, will make $1.3 million next season, according to terms of a deal that runs through June 30, 2019, and escalates annually.
That figure will jump to $1.7 million in 2013-14, and escalate to $2 million by 2018-19, if Iowa reaches the NCAAs.
If Iowa doesn’t make the NCAA Tournament, McCaffery will receive $1.5 million in 2013-14, a figure that will escalate to $1.8 million in 2018-19. If Iowa makes the NCAAs at any time during the course of the contract, McCaffery will get a $200,000 bump the following season.
Additional compensation is possible if the team reaches certain competitive and academic benchmarks written into the contract
When ESPN basketball analyst Dick Vitale came to Cedar Rapids for a speaking engagement the first week of June, he said he sensed that change was in the air.
Iowa basketball had steadily lost national relevance over the last decade.
No national ranking or NCAA bid since 2006. No first division Big Ten finish since 2007.
“But I got a real feeling that there was an uptick,” Vitale said. “You could feel the energy from the people. It’s been awhile since they felt this way.”
Fran Fraschilla, a former college coach at Manhattan, St. John’s and New Mexico, said the sense of progress is key.
“So much in building a program today is in positive momentum,” said Fraschilla, now an analyst for ESPN. “Despite the record (just one game over .500 last season), which is moving in the right direction, the bigger picture is there’s a perception that there’s positive momentum.
“I see the contract as both a reward for coach McCaffery and a tool for building the program.”
There is a $2 million lump sum buyout clause if McCaffery leaves for another program. That sum decreases by $250,000 annually.
“When I came here my hope was to finish my career here,” McCaffery said.
He added: “This is not a stepping-stone situation. It was never viewed that way. It shouldn’t be viewed that way. There’s no place higher than the Big Ten, unless you have somebody that has always aspired to coach in the NBA, which I don’t. I want to coach in college.”
The new deal replaces the original six-year contract McCaffery signed after accepting the Iowa job in March of 2010. The original contract was worth $1.1 million in 2010-11 and was scheduled to escalate to $1.35 million by 2015-16.
“We’ve got some tangible results and I think there’s a tremendous positive feeling around the entire program as we move forward,” McCaffery said. “We just want to keep building on that momentum.”
Iowa’s record improved to 11-20 to 18-17
in McCaffery’s first two seasons. The Hawkeyes recorded four victories over Top 25 teams and reached the second round of the NIT, the university’s first postseason bid since 2006.
Athletic director Gary Barta and McCaffery told the Des Moines Register in May that a new deal was in the works.
Barta said in a statement that he was “thrilled with where Fran is taking our program. He has done an outstanding job, in all phases. We are pleased that the victory total has increased in the last two seasons. But, as important, Fran has demonstrated a total commitment in all phases of the program, including recruiting, community involvement and commitment to academic performance.”
McCaffery loses one starter, Matt Gatens, and brings in a five-member recruiting class that has been ranked in the Top 20 nationally.
Though progress has been made the past two seasons, McCaffery said there’s a mandate for more.
“But we want more, our fans want more,” McCaffery said. “We’re not satisfied with where we are today.”
Register executive sports editor Bryce Miller contributed to this report.
McCAFFERY DEAL: NATIONAL REACTION
ESPN college basketball analysts Dick Vitale and Fran Fraschilla talked with the Des Moines Register about the new, seven-year contract for Iowa’s Fran McCaffery:
“I’m not surprised he’s having success there. He’s being patient, and doing it the right way. And now they’re starting to see some results. He’s got some great recruits coming in. There’s optimism now.”
— Vitale, on McCaffery changing the culture at Iowa
“Both Woodbury and Mike Gesell were thought of as big recruits, and they stayed close to home. Woodbury (heavily recruited by North Carolina) is exactly the kind of cornerstone big man you want to build your program around. And Gessell is a tough-as-nails, feisty winner. He’s a coach on the floor, like (NBA stars) John Stockton or Steve Nash.”
— Fraschilla, on landing recruits Adam Woodbury and Mike Gessell to build momentum toward a contract
ALSO IN THE CONTRACT …
Iowa men’s basketball coach Fran McCaffery has a range of additional benefits in his new contract.
Six tickets and a parking pass to all Iowa football home games, along with a parking pass. (And six tickets to any Iowa bowl game.)
Two automobiles, for McCaffery and his wife.
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball