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McFeely: With NDSU making title game, head coach Entz gets year added to contract

Coach hired in 2019 has had two one-year extensions with amendments to original deal, will get another and be signed through 2026 season

North Dakota State head football coach Matt Entz fields questions from the media at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, on Friday, Jan. 6, 2023.
David Samson/ The Forum

FRISCO, Texas — North Dakota State head coach Matt Entz earned a contract extension when the Bison qualified for the Football Championship Subdivision title game, according to documents obtained by The Forum through an open records request.

It'll be the third extension Entz received since signing his original contract with NDSU that began Jan. 1, 2019. That was a five-year deal starting with a base salary of $300,000.

That contract was set to end following the 2023 season.

He's now signed through the 2026 season and his base salary was increased to $315,000.

Entz became the Bison's coach in January 2019, after Chris Klieman left NDSU to take the head coaching job at Kansas State. Entz's first contract included a base salary and standard bonuses for things like victories in a season, conference championships, playoff appearances and national championships.


Entz received a one-year extension through a brief contract amendment in June 2020 after the Bison won a national championship in 2019. His base salary was increased to $315,000 with that extension.

NDSU didn't announce the extension at the time because it came during the COVID-19 pandemic, the same decision it made when extending men's basketball coach Dave Richman and women's basketball coach Jory Collins.

"We didn't think it was appropriate at the time because you had people across the country losing jobs, there were furloughs. We just didn't feel like it was the right thing to do," NDSU athletic director Matt Larsen said. "We felt it was the right thing to do for the coaches, but to publicize it just didn't feel right."

Entz signed another amendment in July 2022, extending his contract through 2025, after NDSU beat Montana State for the national championship in January.

The amendment also included a clause that automatically extends his contract by one year if the Bison reach the national championship game.

The Bison did that by defeating Incarnate Word in the FCS playoff semifinals in December. NDSU plays South Dakota State for the national championship Sunday at Toyota Stadium in Frisco.

Larsen said NDSU's philosophy was to extend Entz's contract for one year each time he won a national title, so he decided to make it part of Entz's latest extension.

"Part of it is, philosophically it's the right thing to do and we were doing it all the time anyway," Larsen said. "So we decided why not just build it in. Hopefully that continues to be an issue for us."


Larsen said Entz and NDSU will finalize the latest extension in the coming months.

An interesting nugget from the first amendment Entz signed in 2020: There was a clause included that would give the coach a one-year extension "if the employment at NDSU of both Dean Bresciani and Matt Larsen end within 12 months of each other and the employment end date of the 2nd person is prior to January 15, 2025, then this Agreement shall automatically be extended until January, 2026 with no additional action necessary by either party."

Mike McFeely is a columnist for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. He began working for The Forum in the 1980s while he was a student studying journalism at Minnesota State University Moorhead. He's been with The Forum full time since 1990, minus a six-year hiatus when he hosted a local radio talk-show.
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