T.J. Otzelberger

T.J. Otzelberger speaks with the media in his introductory press conference March 19.

Due to an interesting financial situation for the athletics department, incoming Iowa State men’s basketball Head Coach T.J. Otzelberger has a creatively structured five-year contract laid out for his time in Ames.

Otzelberger’s yearly salary will be $1 million, with an additional $500,000 in incentives. The contract’s base pay will be $300,000, with the other $700,000 being earned for general media availability.

Otzelberger will receive a bonus if the Cyclones are one of the top four seeds in the Big 12 Tournament come the end of the regular season. If they are the No. 1 seed, the bonus will be worth $250,000.

Winning the conference tournament would also grant Otzelberger an additional $100,000. An at-large NCAA Tournament bid would result in $50,000, including $50,000 more for each win in the tournament.

In order to make this move happen, Iowa State also agreed to pay $3.4 million to buy out his contract with UNLV, his previous place of employment. Otzelberger is taking a $200,000 pay cut in his salary but has a multitude of opportunities to make up for it as Iowa State’s head coach.

While Otzelberger’s annual salary ranks last in Big 12 men’s basketball, all of the coaches in the conference make between $1 and $5 million annually. The Texas Longhorns men’s basketball program is shelling out the most cash for a head coach with Chris Beard’s seven-year $35 million contract.

Former Head Coach Steve Prohm made $2,375,000 for the 2019-20 season.

While the contract structure is unique and the incentives are high-tier, the main goal for Otzelberger’s tenure at Iowa State is to win games and get the men's basketball program on the right track.

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