IOWA CITY, Iowa — Gary Barta, the Henry B. and Patricia B. Tippie Director of Athletics Chair at Iowa, will retire Aug. 1, 2023, after 17 years as athletics director.
One of the longest tenured Power 5 conference athletic directors in the country, Barta joined the UI Department of Athletics in 2006 after holding a similar position at the University of Wyoming.
Under Barta’s leadership, the Department of Athletics has noted a long list of accomplishments, including:
• Numerous teams achieved on-the-field success, including four NCAA team titles; 27 Big Ten Conference team titles; numerous individual Big Ten titles; nearly 500 All-America honorees; more than 160 student-athletes recognized as first-team All-Big Ten; multiple national player of the year award winners; Big Ten player of the year recipients; and coach of the year recognitions.
• More than 750 Big Ten Conference Distinguished Scholar recipients, and for eight years in a row Iowa recorded a 3.0 or higher student-athlete average GPA, 89 percent Graduation Success Rate, and all teams meeting or exceeding the NCAA standards for Academic Progress Rate.
• More than $380 million in facility upgrades and new construction projects, including Kinnick Stadium’s North End Zone; Hansen Football Performance Center; Gerdin Athletic Learning Center; Carver-Hawkeye Arena Howard Family Pavilion; Goschke Family Wrestling Training Center; Nagle Family Clubhouse and Hoak Family Golf Complex; Iowa Soccer Operations Center; P. Sue Beckwith Boathouse; and the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center natatorium, among others.
• Raising more than $650 million in private support for athletics scholarships, operations, facilities, and endowments. During Barta’s tenure, the athletics endowment grew from $31.6 million to $76 million, creating numerous student-athlete scholarships in addition to administrative and coaching endowments.
• Naming Duke Slater Field at Kinnick Stadium (2021) and the creation of the Duke Slater sculpture as part of the north end zone renovation.
• Becoming the first Power Five school to add women’s wrestling (2021).
“It has been an absolute privilege and honor to serve in this role the past 17 years. I’m humbled to have worked beside and on behalf of so many student-athletes, coaches, staff, donors, fans, and community leaders over the past two decades.”Gary Barta, Henry B. and Patricia B. Tippie Director of Athletics Chair
Barta has served on numerous NCAA committees over the years, including the NCAA Division I Council for four years. He also served for three years (2019-2021) on the College Football Playoff Selection Committee, two of those years as chair, and was named the 2015-16 National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics/Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year.
“Gary’s achievements at the University of Iowa are significant, and our coaches and student-athletes have enjoyed tremendous success on and off the field during his tenure,” says UI President Barbara Wilson. “I’m grateful for his leadership as a Hawkeye and I wish him well in his retirement.
An interim athletics director will be announced next week.
“The success enjoyed by our student-athletes and coaches during my entire tenure, and especially the past several years, has been impressive and record breaking on so many levels,” Barta said.
“My wife, Connie, and I were blessed to be able to raise our two kids (Luke and Madi) in this wonderful community. The four of us will be Hawkeyes for life. I’ve made incredible friendships within the athletic department, across campus, throughout the greater Iowa City community, and across the State.
“This decision didn’t come suddenly, nor did it come without significant thought, discussion, and prayer. As I’ve reflected, I came to the conclusion there’s never a good time to step away…because there’s always more to be done. That said, I’m confident this is the right time for me and for my family.
“Again, I’m incredibly grateful to have served in this role. I look forward to wherever the next phase in my journey takes me.
“Thank you to President Wilson for her continued support, along with everyone in the “Hawkeye Family” for this amazing run.
“The best is yet to come! Go Hawks!”