Pete ThamelESPN2 Minute Read
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 total, together with a not too long ago 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 sector. Per his Iowa bio, the college has gained 11 Big Ten championships because the fall of 2020. Iowa’s girls’s basketball group, led by star Caitlin Clark, performed for the nationwide title in 2023.
Iowa’s males’s basketball group has gained at the least 20 video games in every of the previous 4 seasons and gained the Big Ten event title within the 2021-22 season.
Meanwhile the soccer group 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 sport and earn a visit to the Rose Bowl. The Hawkeyes additionally performed for the Big Ten title in 2021.
Off the sector, 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 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.
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 throughout the school athletics trade. In September 2022, the college employed Beth Goetz, who was the sitting athletic director at Ball State, to develop into 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 may find yourself changing Barta within the close to future. She’ll be the favourite for the job. The faculty mentioned an interim AD shall be introduced subsequent week.