Longtime Iowa athletic director Gary Barta is set to retire effective Aug. 1, according to reports from Scott Dochterman of The Athletic and Pete Thamel of ESPN.
The 59-year-old Barta has served as Iowa’s AD since 2006 and spent two years as chairman of the College Football Playoff committee. In addition, Barta and Hawkeyes football coach Kirk Ferentz currently rank as the nation’s longest-serving athletic director-football coach combination at one school.
Dochterman also noted that Barta ranks fifth in tenure among Power 5 athletic directors. In total, Iowa has had just three individuals lead its athletic department since 1970. Bump Elliott led the department from ’70 to ’91. Bob Bowlsby led the department from ’91 to 2006 before leaving to become the Big 12 commissioner, and Barta has been in the post ever since.
An official announcement has yet to be released, but the expectation is that deputy athletics director Beth Goetz will serve as the interim AD until a full-time replacement is named.
Under Barta’s watch, Iowa won four NCAA championships in wrestling and 27 Big Ten team titles in various sports. For the past eight seasons, Iowa’s student-athlete GPA exceeded 3.0 with an 89% graduation rate across the entire athletic department.
Barta’s tenure has not been without controversy, though. Iowa has paid out over $11 million in response to lawsuits related to gender and racial discrimination and Title IX violations over the past six years, per Dochterman.