Iowa athletic director Gary Barta announces retirement

University of Iowa athletic director Gary Barta announced his retirement Friday. 

Barta, 59, will officially step down on Aug. 1 after serving as the school’s AD for the past 17 years.

One of the longest tenured Power-5 conference athletic directors in the nation, Barta joined Iowa’s athletic department in 2006 after holding a similar position at the University of Wyoming. Prior to serving as the athletic director at Wyoming, Barta served as an administrator in the athletic departments at the University of Washington and University of Northern Iowa.

In addition to holding the position as Iowa’s athletic director, Barta also served as a member of the College Football Playoff selection committee, holding the role of committee chair in both 2020 and 2021.

“It has been an absolute privilege and honor to serve in this role the past 17 years,” Barta said. “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.”

Under Barta’s leadership, Iowa athletics had numerous accomplishments, including four NCAA team titles, 27 Big Ten Conference team titles, numerous individual Big Ten titles, nearly 500 All-America honorees, more than 160 student-athletes recognized as first-team All-Big Ten, multiple national player of the year award winners, Big Ten player of the year recipients, and coach of the year recognitions.

Barta was also named the 2015-16 National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics/Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year.

“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,” Iowa president Barbara Wilson said of Barta. “I’m grateful for his leadership as a Hawkeye and I wish him well in his retirement.”

In September 2022, Iowa hired Beth Goetz as the school’s deputy athletic director and chief operating officer. Goetz previously served as director of athletics at Ball State University from 2018-22 and as the chief operating officer at the University of Connecticut from 2016-18.

An interim athletics director at Iowa will be announced next week.

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