University of Iowa head wrestling coach Tom Brands has signed a five-year contract to continue as head coach of the Hawkeye wrestling program through the 2016-17 season. The announcement was made today by UI Director of Athletics Gary Barta.
The five-year agreement is competitive with the elite programs in the country and contains a combination of guaranteed income and performance incentives. Beginning in 2012-13, the average annual guaranteed income over the life of the agreement is $225,000. The performance incentives include compensation for academics, longevity and competitive benchmarks.
Barta said, “I know we’re biased, but I believe Tom Brands is the best wrestling coach in the country,” “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.”
The Sheldon graduate and former Hawkeye wrestler was named head coach of the Iowa program in 2006 and went on to win three NCAA championships from 2008-10. The Hawkeyes have won three conference titles in his six seasons while crowning 10 Big Ten and seven NCAA individual champions. Iowa has qualified 53 wrestlers for the NCAA tournament and crowned 34 All-Americans and 47 Academic All-Big Ten honorees under Brands’ leadership.
Brands has also rejuvenated the Iowa wrestling fan base. When he arrived in 2006-07, Iowa’s average attendance nearly doubled to an NCAA-best 6,740. The Hawkeyes have led the nation in attendance every year since, averaging better than 8,000 fans for four straight years and an NCAA record 9,014 in 2011-12.
Brands said, “I appreciate the support Gary Barta and President Sally Mason have continued to show the Iowa wrestling program. This commitment goes beyond me. It extends to our student-athletes, assistant coaches, support staff and fans. It is important we realize the responsibility that comes with representing the University of Iowa, and we’re committed to doing so.”
“It’s always been our mission to win championships and win them the right way,” said Brands. “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.”