Iowa athletic director Gary Barta, who served two years as the chairman of the College Football Playoff committee, is retiring effective Aug. 1, the university announced Friday.
Barta has led Hawkeyes athletics since 2006, making him the fifth-longest tenured athletic director in the Power 5 conferences.
Under Barta, Iowa has four NCAA wrestling championships and 27 Big Ten team titles. Nearly 500 Hawkeyes have received All-America honors and more than 160 athletes have been recognized as first-team All-Big Ten.
Barta, 59, served as the athletic director at Wyoming (2003-06) and as senior associate athletic director at Washington (1996-2003) before moving on to Iowa.
“It has been an absolute privilege and honor to serve in this role the past 17 years,” Barta said in a statement. “I’m humbled to have worked beside and on behalf of so many student-athletes, coaches, staff, donors, fans and community leaders over the past two decades.”
The university said an interim athletic director will be announced next week. Multiple outlets reported that deputy athletic director Beth Goetz, 48, likely will fill the position for now. She previously was the athletic director at Ball State and the deputy AD and then acting AD at Minnesota (2013-16).
“Gary’s achievements at the University of Iowa are significant, and our coaches and student-athletes have enjoyed tremendous success on and off the field during his tenure,” said Barbara Wilson, university president. “I’m grateful for his leadership as a Hawkeye and I wish him well in his retirement.”
Still, Barta’s tenure has been marked by both highs and lows.
Under his watch, Iowa has made facility upgrades worth more than $380 million. It also has raised more than $650 million in private funds for athletic scholarships, operations and more.
But the school also has paid out about $11 million to settle lawsuits that charged Iowa with discrimination.
Currently, about two dozen athletes and a staff members are being investigated for sports betting.
–Field Level Media