T.J. Otzelberger receives two-year contract extension, stretches through 2029

The following is a press release from Iowa State Athletics Communications:

AMES, Iowa – After guiding the Iowa State men’s basketball team to the NCAA Tournament for the second-straight season and signing the highest-rated recruiting class in program history, head coach T.J. Otzelberger has been rewarded with a two-year contract extension, Cyclone Director of Athletics Jamie Pollard announced today.

“In just two years, Coach Otzelberger and his staff have reimagined the Cyclone program while instilling a culture which has led to great success in the classroom, on the court and in recruiting,” Pollard said. “The complete transformation of our program in such a short time is a testament to Coach Otzelberger’s leadership and vision for Cyclone Basketball, and he is most deserving of this extension and a compensation increase.

“When we hired T.J., he agreed to take a lower salary on the front end to help us manage the buyout costs associated with the transition with the understanding that we would increase his salary over the first few years of his contract to be more in line with his Big 12 peers,” he added. “This extension allows Iowa State to reward T.J. for the outstanding job he has done first and foremost, while also keeping our promise to him when he was hired. The future of Cyclone Basketball is bright, and I believe even greater success is on the horizon for our program under Coach Otzelberger’s direction.”

Otzelberger’s contract now extends through June 30, 2029, and his total compensation will increase to $2.5M on July 1, 2023, $3M on July 1, 2024 and $3.5M on July 1, 2025, followed by $100,000 increases for each subsequent contract year. All other terms of his original contract remain unchanged.

Only the third coach in the program’s 116-year history to lead Iowa State to the NCAA Tournament in each of their first two seasons on the ISU bench, Otzelberger’s 2022-23 Cyclones went 19-14 overall and 9-9 in the Big 12 Conference, good for fifth place in the nation’s toughest league. Iowa State produced a nation-leading six victories over Associated Press (AP) Top 10 teams and was one of two teams to register eight or more wins over AP Top 25 teams, as Texas (10) and Iowa State (nine) led the nation. ISU’s nine AP Top 25 wins tied the program’s single-season record first set during the 2013-14 season and matched a year later.

A 2023 Werner Ladder Naismith Men’s College Coach of the Year Late Season Watch List member, Otzelberger’s 41 wins rank fourth among Cyclone head coaches in their first two seasons at the helm. He owns a 41-27 (.603) record in two seasons at Iowa State, and a 140-90 (.609) record in seven years as a Division I head coach.

Four Cyclones earned 2022-23 honors by the Big 12 Conference coaches. Gabe Kalscheur garnered second-team All-Big 12 honors and was also named to the Big 12 All-Defensive team. Jaren Holmes was named All-Big 12 Honorable Mention, while also earning a spot on the Big 12 All-Newcomer team. Osun Osunniyi also earned All-Big 12 Honorable Mention honors. Tamin Lipsey picked up a spot on the Big 12 All-Freshman team. Kalscheur also received NABC All-District 8 second-team recognition and played in the Reese’s College All-Star Game, leading the West Team to victory.

Iowa State signed the highest-ranked recruiting class in school history, a consensus Top 10 class by ESPN (8th), 247 (9th) and Rivals (10th). Five-star signee Omaha Biliew, a McDonald’s All-American, and four-star signee Milan Momcilovic, Wisconsin’s consensus Player of the Year and a MaxPreps All-American, headline the four-member class that also includes Kayden Fish and Jelani Hamilton.

Otzelberger’s debut season in Ames produced a 22-13 overall record, the school’s 21st NCAA Tournament bid and sixth Sweet 16 appearance en route to a season-ending ranking of No. 23 in the coaches poll. ISU registered the third-best improvement in NCAA history, a +20-win improvement over the program’s 2020-21 record. Unanimously picked last in the Big 12 Conference preseason poll, the Cyclones defied all odds in making the NCAA Tournament and finishing seventh in the nation’s toughest league.