Jacobson's new deal includes pay raise

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- After leading Northern Iowa to the biggest win in school history, coach Ben Jacobson is sticking with the Panthers.

Northern Iowa and Jacobson have agreed to a new 10-year deal that includes a substantial pay raise, athletic director Troy Dannen announced Wednesday.

The agreement will increase Jacobson's annual salary to $450,000 starting next season, with annual raises of $25,000 throughout the length of a deal that runs through 2020.

Jacobson's old contract paid him $289,300 per year and ran through 2016. Northern Iowa said that no public funds will be used to fund the increase in the new agreement.

"We could not be more proud to have Ben Jacobson continue to lead our men's basketball program well into the future," Dannen said in a statement released by the school. "Ben is not only one of the top young coaches in the nation but he's also a great educator and mentor."

Jacobson, 39, is in his fourth season as the head coach at Northern Iowa and has won back-to-back Missouri Valley Coach of the Year honors. He served as an assistant under Greg McDermott at Northern Iowa for five seasons, taking over when McDermott left for Iowa State in 2006.

Jacobson led the Panthers to an NCAA tournament berth in 2008-09, and this season Northern Iowa (30-4) caught everyone's attention by stunning top-seeded Kansas 69-67 in the second round of the NCAA tournament. The team will play Michigan State (26-8) in the Midwest Region semifinals in St. Louis on Friday night.

Jacobson's name was thrown into the mix for a number of high-profile openings around the country -- including one just down the road at Iowa -- after leading the Panthers to their second straight Missouri Valley title.

Instead, Jacobson appears set for a long stay in Cedar Falls.

"I appreciate the continued support from our administration, community and student body. I'm thrilled to sign this new deal," Jacobson said in a statement. "The University of Northern Iowa is a special place made so by great people."