Iowa AD Gary Barta expected to retire after 17 years leading Hawkeyes athletic department


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Iowa athletic director Gary Barta is expected to announce his retirement, 247Sports’ Hawkeye Insider reported Friday. Barta, 59, has served in the role since 2006 while also holding prestigious roles throughout the collegiate sports landscape such as College Football Playoff selection committee chairperson for the 2020 and 2021 seasons.

Barta is expected to officially step down on Aug. 1, according to The Athletic.

While the Hawkeyes have remained mostly stable in terms of coaching turnover in football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball during Barta’s tenure, the athletic department has also dealt with its share of controversies. The school announced this month that it had alerted the NCAA about potential violations within the department related to sports wagering involving 26 athletes.

Earlier this year, the school and athletic department settled a $4 million lawsuit from 12 former football players alleging racial discrimination.

Barta’s tenure has also featured plenty of triumphs. The women’s basketball program has surged in success and national relevance in recent years under coach Lisa Blunder with star guard Caitlin Clark emerging as one of the faces of college basketball. While the men’s program has never made a Sweet 16 during Barta’s tenure, it has qualified for four straight NCAA Tournaments and won the Big Ten Tournament in 2022.

As for football, the program has been among the most consistent in the nation under coach Kirk Ferentz, who had already been on the job for several years before Barta’s arrival. However, Iowa’s offensive ineptitude in 2022 combined with the cloud of the recent racial discrimination allegations from former players has cast a pall over the program as Ferentz enters his 25th season on the job.

Barta arrived at Iowa in 2006 following three years as Wyoming’s athletic director. Beth Goetz, who is Iowa’s deputy athletics director and chief operating officer, has been identified as one candidate to watch as Barta’s potential replacement, according to Hawkeye Insider.

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