IOWA CITY, Iowa — The school announced Friday that Iowa State Athletics Director Gary Barta will be retiring, effective Aug. 1.
Barta, 59, ranks fifth in position among Power 5 athletics directors and has led the athletics department at Iowa since 2006. He also served as the College Football Playoff’s co-chair in 2020 and 2021. Barta and Kirk Ferentz are the longest-serving coaches Football and athletics serving the country combine in one school.
“It has been an absolute privilege and honor to serve in this position for the past 17 years, and I am delighted to work alongside and on behalf of the many student-athletes, coaches, staff, donors, fans and community leaders over the past two decades,” Barta said in a statement. Our student-athletes and coaches over my entire tenure, especially the last several years, have been impressive and record-breaking on so many levels.”
Iowa has enjoyed an unprecedented lifespan in athletics managers. Bump Elliott, an inductee of the College Football Hall of Fame, served at Iowa from 1970 to 1991 and was succeeded by Bob Bowlsby in 1991. Bowlsby, who retired last year as a senior 12 commissioner, served at Iowa until 2006.
Iowa will name an interim director of athletics next week, and it will likely be deputy director of athletics Beth Goetz.
Iowa has won four NCAA Championships (all in wrestling), captured 27 Big Ten team titles and produced nearly 500 All-America honors under Barta. Iowa’s average student-athlete GPA has exceeded 3.0 for eight consecutive years with a graduation success rate of 89 percent.
During Barta’s tenure, Iowa has completed more than $380 million in facility upgrades and new construction projects and has raised more than $650 million in private support for athletics, operations, facility and endowment grants.
Barta and the athletics department have settled gender discrimination, racial discrimination and Title IX lawsuits for $11 million over the past six years.
Goetz, 48, came to Iowa in September after serving as director of athletics at Ball State since 2018. Goetz, a native of the St. Louis area, played football at Clemson, and coached football at Missouri-St. Louis and was Minnesota’s interim director of athletics in 2015. Although Iowa State will likely open up a job search, Goetz is the favorite to replace Barta.
(Photo: George Gojkovic/Getty Images)
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