Big Ten

Hawkeyes' Kirk Ferentz gets contract extension through 2025 season


Hawkeyes' Kirk Ferentz gets contract extension through 2025 season

The long-time coach of the Hawkeyes is going to be the head coach of the Hawkeyes for a much longer time.

Iowa announced Tuesday a six-year contract extension for head football coach Kirk Ferentz that will keep him in his position through the 2025 season.

In his 18th season as the Hawkeyes' head coach, Ferentz previously was extended through the 2019 campaign. But in the wake of last season, the winningest one in program history that featured a perfect 12-0 regular season and a trip to the Rose Bowl, Ferentz earned himself another three quarters of a decade at the helm.

“I am pleased and proud to continue as head coach of the University of Iowa football team through (2025). It is a tremendous privilege and responsibility to lead the Iowa football program,” Ferentz said in the announcement. “I am extraordinarily proud of our program, our players and our supportive fans. I appreciate the trust and confidence demonstrated by athletics director Gary Barta and president Bruce Harreld — and I look forward to continuing our winning tradition. Iowa is home to me, my wife, Mary, and our five children. We moved a lot during the early years of coaching, but once we arrived in Iowa City — this quickly became our home. We appreciate and value what it is to be an Iowan and an Iowa Hawkeye.”

Ferentz took over the reins of the program ahead of the 1999 season and won just one game in his first campaign. But in 17 seasons (plus one game this year) he's posted a 128-87 record with two Big Ten titles, five double-digit-win seasons and trips to the Orange Bowl (twice) and the Rose Bowl. He ranks seventh on the all-time Big Ten wins list.

“I’ve said it many times, I would like Kirk to retire as a Hawkeye, and this contract is a strong statement toward that commitment,” Barta said in the announcement. “Kirk’s dedication to the football program and the University of Iowa has brought national attention and recognition to the Hawkeyes for nearly 20 years. Kirk is one of the top coaches in country. His commitment to winning, graduating student-athletes and doing things the right way is unmatched by any program or coach. There is strong momentum surrounding the Hawkeye football program. Whether it’s on the field, recruiting, academics, facilities or with his staff, we’re achieving at a high level today, and are well positioned for continued success for years to come.”

Ferentz will make $4.5 million a year under the new contract, vaulting him into the top eight highest-paid coaches in college football, according to the always-handy USA Today coaches salaries database.

Former Illini champion Kevin Anderson upsets Roger Federer in Wimbledon quarterfinal


Former Illini champion Kevin Anderson upsets Roger Federer in Wimbledon quarterfinal

Former University of Illinois tennis star Kevin Anderson completed a marathon upset against an all-time great on the highest stage of professional tennis.

Anderson came back from two sets down to beat Roger Federer in Wimbledon’s quarterfinals 2-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-4, 13-11 on Wednesday morning. He will play in the semifinals of the tournament for the first time in his career.

As a native of South Africa, Anderson played three seasons with the Fighting Illini and won the NCAA doubles championship during the 2005-06 season as a sophomore. The 32-year-old was a three-time All-American in singles at Illinois.

Now, as the eighth ranked singles player on the ATP World Tour, Anderson is a force to be reckoned with at the professional level. He made it all the way to the US Open final in 2017.

The former Illini star will look to keep his recent success going when he represents Illinois in the semifinals of Wimbledon this Friday.

Northwestern set to play Wisconsin at Wrigley Field in 2020

Northwestern set to play Wisconsin at Wrigley Field in 2020

Weeks will separate a perfect 10-year anniversary where Northwestern will play at Wrigley Field for one of its regular season games in the upcoming years.

Back on Nov. 20, 2010, the Wildcats battled it out with Illinois, known as the “Wrigleyville Classic,” which saw the Illini take a 48-27 win.

Even though it’s still two years out, Northwestern still planned ahead and announced its opponent for its game at Wrigley Field on Nov. 7, 2020, against Big Ten rival Wisconsin.

“Obviously an exciting opportunity for our football program to come back to Wrigley Field, one of the Cathedrals of sporting venues in the world,” Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said. “When I announced it to our team, they were absolutely ecstatic.”

“The opportunity to play at Wrigley field is unique to us, being Chicago’s Big Ten team, and to have the chance to come down and play in an atmosphere like we did a few years back was a bowl game type atmosphere, and I look forward to this special opportunity.”

This game though will be a little different than it was back in 2010. Both the Wildcats and Illini played toward the west end zone due to a tight squeeze near the right field wall due to box seats that were added down the third base line.

Now, Northwestern and Wisconsin do not have to worry about that problem because the bullpens have since moved to the outfield.

Cubs president of business operations Crane Kenney spoke at a news conference earlier on Tuesday at Wrigley.

“So excited to welcome back Northwestern to Wrigley Field to talk about football again,” Kenney said. “We had an incredible experience with them back in 2010."

Kenney also mentioned new seating is on a temporary platform that can all be removed and the dugout tops can be removed as well, and the field will expand west, to allow for a longer field.

With a sellout crowd in the last go around for the Wildcats, don’t be surprised for another sellout at the Friendly Confines.