Longtime College of Iowa athletic director Gary Barta introduced his retirement Friday. He’ll 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 Massive Ten convention behind Ohio State’s Gene Smith.
Barta has performed a giant function in faculty athletics total, together with a lately accomplished three-year stint as a member of the School Soccer Playoff choice committee. He served because the CFP committee chair in 2020 and 2021.
“This choice did not come immediately, nor did it come with out important thought, dialogue, and prayer,” Barta stated in an announcement launched by the college. “As I’ve mirrored, I got here to the conclusion there’s by no means a superb time to step away…as a result of there’s all the time extra to be executed. That stated, I am assured that is the correct time for me and for my household.”
His tenure included robust success on the sector. Per his Iowa bio, the college has gained 11 Massive Ten championships because the fall of 2020. Iowa’s girls’s basketball workforce, led by star Caitlin Clark, performed for the nationwide title in 2023.
Iowa’s males’s basketball workforce has gained at the very least 20 video games in every of the previous 4 seasons and gained the Massive Ten match title within the 2021-22 season.
In the meantime the soccer workforce has authored 10 consecutive profitable seasons beneath coach Kirk Ferentz. That success included a 2015 season that noticed the workforce make an look within the Massive Ten title sport and earn a visit to the Rose Bowl. The Hawkeyes additionally performed for the Massive Ten title in 2021.
“For somebody to have the lengthy tenure that he is had at Iowa and the affect he is had is de facto uncommon and speaks to who he’s as an individual and the good job that he is executed there,” Ohio State’s Smith instructed ESPN. “He is employed some excellent coaches and has a serious affect on Iowa and intercollegiate athletics as an entire.”
Off the sector, Barta’s tenure featured a number of high-profile lawsuits, which noticed Iowa pay out greater than $10 million since 2017. These included a settlement of over $4 million to a gaggle 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 subject hockey coach. A former senior athletic director additionally gained $1.4 million in damages in 2017 for a discrimination lawsuit.
Moreover, the college introduced this month that it’s totally cooperating in a sports activities wagering investigation and that the college “has obtained details about 111 people,” though solely 26 are present athletes.
Barta’s retirement doesn’t come as a lot of a shock inside the faculty athletics trade. 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.
As a result of Goetz stepped down from a sitting athletic director’s job, that rent led to a perception that Goetz may find yourself changing Barta within the close to future. She’ll be the favourite for the job. The varsity stated an interim AD will probably be introduced subsequent week.
“The physique of labor at Iowa — he is had his share of controversies, as everybody does — however the physique of labor is very good,” former Massive 12 commissioner and Iowa athletic director Bob Bowlsby instructed ESPN. “I am glad he is getting out on his personal phrases and hope he enjoys his retirement.”
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