Iowa athletic director Gary Barta is retiring.
Iowa announced Friday morning that Barta would step down from his role effective August 1 after 17 years in Iowa City.
Barta, whose contract was set to expire in June 2024, was one of the longest-tenured athletic directors in the country. Barta, 59, began his role at Iowa in 2006 and most recently served as chairman of the College Football Playoff selection committee.
“It has been an absolute privilege and honor to serve in this role over the past 17 years. I am honored to have worked with and on behalf of so many student-athletes, coaches, staff, donors, fans and community leaders over the past two decades. I am very happy
The Hawkeyes have enjoyed continued success in sports such as football, wrestling, and men’s and women’s basketball throughout Barta’s tenure, but the athletic department has faced a variety of controversies in recent years.
In March, a $4 million settlement was reached in a 2020 lawsuit filed against the university by a group of black former Iowa football players who alleged discrimination and abuse in the football program under longtime head coach Kirk Ferentz. there was also $6.5 million settlement in a discrimination lawsuit involving a former women’s field hockey coach and $1.4 million settlement In a lawsuit filed by a former senior associate athletic director.
Additionally, in recent years there has been criticism of nepotism in the football program surrounding Ferentz and his son Brian being retained as offensive coordinator, especially as the Hawkeyes have consistently been one of the nation’s worst teams.
More recently, a sports gambling investigation involving 111 individuals, including 26 current Iowa athletes from baseball, football, men’s basketball, men’s track and field and wrestling, is currently underway.
“This decision did not come suddenly, nor did it come without significant thought, discussion, and prayer. As I reflect, I have come to the conclusion that there is never a good time to walk away… because there is always so much more Something has to be done. That said, I do believe this is the right time for me and my family,” Barta said.
According to multiple outlets, Beth Goetz is considered a possible candidate to step into the role of athletic director. Goetz was hired by Iowa in September 2022 as its deputy athletic director and chief operating officer. He previously served as the athletic director at Ball State.
Iowa said an interim athletic director would be named next week.