T.J. Otzelberger earns raise and contract extension


Jacob Rice/Iowa State Daily

Iowa State men’s basketball coach T.J. Otzelberger watches the Cyclones play Oklahoma State on March 2. The Cyclones scored 36 points in the loss, good for the fewest scored in the history of Hilton Coliseum.

Payne Blazevich

Following one of the largest turnarounds in college basketball history, Iowa State men’s basketball head coach T.J. Otzelberger received a contract extension that runs through June 30, 2027, Iowa State Athletic Director Jamie Pollard announced Wednesday.

Otzelberger also received an annual salary increase, which raised his additional guaranteed compensation from $700,000 to $1.2 million. The rest of his contract remains the same, meaning he can still earn an additional $500,000 in incentives.

“I’m grateful that we are able to reward [his] success with this extension,” Pollard said in a statement.

The contract structure for Otzelberger was originally designed to fit the athletic department’s budget due to Covid-19. His contract favored financial incentives for success on the court.

Some incentives included $50,000 for an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament and $50,000 for each additional tournament win, netting Otzelberger $150,000 for Iowa State’s at-large bid plus wins over No. 6 seed LSU and No. 3 seed Wisconsin.

Other benefits include compensation for being seeded in the top four of the Big 12 tournament, $100,000 for winning the conference tournament and $25,000 for winning Big 12 Coach of the Year.

Otzelberger earned the extension after leading Iowa State to one of the largest single-season turnarounds in college basketball history. After a 2-22 record under former head coach Steve Prohm, Otzelberger’s team won 22 games in its first season. A 20-win increase falls behind only Middle Tennessee and Towson, who each saw an increase of 21 wins.

In the Big 12 preseason poll, Iowa State was unanimously picked to finish last. The Cyclones finished seventh in the final Big 12 standings and reached as high as No. 8 in the Associated Press Top a25 poll.

Iowa State also reached the Sweet Sixteen for the sixth time in program history. Before the start of the season, an at-large tournament bid was considered an optimistic expectation. Otzelberger’s contract extension and salary increase is a sign of recognition that he is moving Iowa State in a desirable direction.

“I believe T.J. is building a championship culture within our program that fosters academic excellence, on-court success and accountability,” Pollard said in a statement.

For the 2022-23 season, Otzelberger will work to build upon his initial success. With a handful of incoming talent paired with returning veterans, the Cyclones will aim to reach the NCAA tournament for the second year in a row.