IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa Director of Athletics Gary Barta announced today the hiring of Barbara Burke as Senior Associate Athletics Director for Sport Administration and Event Management. Burke joins the UI senior staff after serving as Deputy Athletics Director/Chief Operating Officer at Tulane University. She will also serve as the UI’s Senior Women’s Administrator.
Burke brings more than 20 years of experience as a collegiate administrator, including six years as a Division I director of athletics. Most recently, she was responsible for financial and budget management, personnel supervision and management, and assistance with academics, compliance, student support, financial aid, facilities and game-day operations at Tulane.
“Barbara will be a great addition to our team,” said Barta. “She is well respected nationally and known for her ability to help coaches and student-athletes achieve success. I’ve had the opportunity to work directly with Barbara at Wyoming, and I know she shares our values.”
At Iowa, Burke will be part of the senior leadership team with responsibilities for sports administration and event management, along with serving as the department’s senior women’s administrator. The hiring of Burke occurs prior to the upcoming retirement of Senior Associate Athletics Director and Senior Women’s Administrator Paula Jantz. Jantz is retiring in January, 2017.
“I’m excited to be joining the Hawkeyes,” said Burke. “Iowa is a great university with a rich athletic history. I share the passion to win, graduate, and do it right and look forward to working with the coaches, staff, and student-athletes.”
Prior to Tulane, Burke spent six years (2008-14) as the director of athletics at Eastern Illinois University. During her time with EIU athletics, she created a master plan for the Panthers’ athletic department and helped oversee growth in the Panther Club, both in funds raised and membership.
Under Burke’s direction, the Panthers captured three Ohio Valley Conference Commissioner’s Cups in the five years that the award for overall OVC excellence has been awarded. In 2013, EIU won its third OVC Commissioner’s Cup, as the program had six teams win regular-season conference championships, the highest total since EIU joined the OVC in 1996. EIU also claimed the OVC Commissioner’s Cup in 2010 and 2011. The other two years, EIU was runner-up in the Cup standings.
Burke spent 10 years at Wyoming, serving in a variety of capacities since joining the staff in March, 1998. From July, 2006, until leaving for EIU, she was deputy director of athletics and senior women’s administrator. In that role, Burke helped oversee strategic planning for the department, as well as the day-to-day operations of Wyoming’s 17-sport, $19 million athletic program.
In addition to her years of service at Wyoming as a senior administrator, Burke served as an athletic administration at the University of Texas at El Paso (1997-98), Marshall University (1994-97) and West Virginia State University (1992-94). During stints at Wyoming and UTEP, Burke was named interim athletics director at the institutions, as both schools transitioned to new directors of athletics.
A member of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of America (NACDA) and National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators (NACWAA), Burke has served on numerous athletic committees, including the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball committee (2005-07), Mountain West Conference Championship committee (2004), and Southern Conference Softball Sports/Tournament committee (1995-96). She served as Wyoming’s representative on the Mountain West Conference transition team as the new league was formed in 1998.
In September, 2010, Burke was selected to serve on the NCAA Women’s Basketball Rules Committee, and was named committee chair in August, 2012. In addition to the NCAA Women’s Basketball Rules Committee, Burke served on the NCAA Division I Championship/Sports Management Cabinet, and was a member of the FCS Central Regional Football Advisory committee.
As a student-athlete, Burke was a four-year member of the softball and basketball teams at Western Michigan University (1976-80), leading the Broncos to the Women’s College Softball World Series in 1980. She was inducted into the WMU Hall of Fame in 1988.
A native of Kalamazoo, Michigan, Burke began her coaching career at Kalamazoo Central High School. Her first collegiate coaching positions came in 1980, as head softball coach and assistant basketball coach at Tennessee Temple University. She followed that with coaching stops at Clearwater Christian (Florida) College, Cornerstone (Michigan) College, Indiana University Southeast, and West Virginia State College. She was named district coach of the year three times during her softball and basketball coaching career.
Burke earned a bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan in 1980, and a master of education degree from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 1984.