DES MOINES - Athletic coaches again were the top earners on Iowa's payroll last fiscal year, though a one-time retention payment boosted University of Iowa president Sally Mason into the upper salary ranks as well, according to new data released Friday.
A state payroll database shows Mason received $972,605 in overall compensation during the 2012-2013 fiscal year. That's about twice her earnings in the previous year, thanks to a one-time deferred compensation payment after being in the job for five years, university spokesman Tom Moore said. Moore's salary is set at $513,003 for the current fiscal year.
But the top 2 highest-paid state employees were the football coaches at two Iowa universities, dwarfing government positions.
University of Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz took home roughly $3.8 million for his work during the 2012-2013 season in which the team went 4-8. Iowa State football coach Paul Rhoads received about $2 million, which included a performance bonus for taking his 6-7 team to the AutoZone Liberty Bowl and additional retention pay.
Moore said the coaches' salaries needed to be on par with other schools.
"Clearly there is a competitive marketplace on a national level and so the University of Iowa competes in that national marketplace," Moore said.