Iowa AD Gary Barta expected to announce retirement

Longtime University of Iowa athletic director Gary Barta introduced his retirement Friday. He will formally step down on Aug. 1.

Barta, 59, has been the athletic director at Iowa for 17 years, making him the second-longest tenured AD within the Big Ten convention behind Ohio State’s Gene Smith.

Barta has performed an enormous function in school athletics general, together with a just lately accomplished three-year stint as a member of the College Football Playoff choice committee. He served because the CFP committee chair in 2020 and 2021.

“This decision didn’t come suddenly, nor did it come without significant thought, discussion, and prayer,” Barta mentioned in an announcement launched by the college. “As I’ve reflected, I came to the conclusion there’s never a good time to step away…because there’s always more to be done. That said, I’m confident this is the right time for me and for my family.”

His tenure included robust success on the sphere. Per his Iowa bio, the college has received 11 Big Ten championships because the fall of 2020. Iowa’s women’s basketball team, led by star Caitlin Clark, performed for the nationwide title in 2023.

Iowa’s men’s basketball team has received not less than 20 video games in every of the previous 4 seasons and received the Big Ten match title within the 2021-22 season.

Meanwhile the football team has authored 10 consecutive profitable seasons beneath coach Kirk Ferentz. That success included a 2015 season that noticed the group make an look within the Big Ten title recreation and earn a visit to the Rose Bowl. The Hawkeyes additionally performed for the Big Ten title in 2021.

“For someone to have the long tenure that he’s had at Iowa and the impact he’s had is really unusual and speaks to who he is as a person and the great job that he’s done there,” Ohio State’s Smith advised ESPN. “He’s hired some outstanding coaches and has a major impact on Iowa and intercollegiate athletics as a whole.”

Off the sphere, Barta’s tenure featured a number of high-profile lawsuits, which noticed Iowa pay out greater than $10 million since 2017. Those included a settlement of over $4 million to a bunch of Black former Iowa soccer gamers who sued the college for discrimination. There was additionally a $6.5 million payout in 2017 over the firing of a former area hockey coach. A former senior athletic director additionally received $1.4 million in damages in 2017 for a discrimination lawsuit.

Additionally, the college introduced this month that it’s absolutely cooperating in a sports activities wagering investigation and that the college “has received information about 111 individuals,” though solely 26 are present athletes.

Barta’s retirement doesn’t come as a lot of a shock inside the school athletics business. In September 2022, the college employed Beth Goetz, who was the sitting athletic director at Ball State, to turn out to be the deputy athletic director and chief working officer.

Because Goetz stepped down from a sitting athletic director’s job, that rent led to a perception that Goetz might find yourself changing Barta within the close to future. She’ll be the favourite for the job. The college mentioned an interim AD will probably be introduced subsequent week.

“The body of work at Iowa — he’s had his share of controversies, as everyone does — but the body of work is extraordinarily good,” former Big 12 commissioner and Iowa athletic director Bob Bowlsby advised ESPN. “I’m glad he’s getting out on his own terms and hope he enjoys his retirement.”

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