IOWA CITY — The University of Iowa announced Wednesday that the contract of athletics director Gary Barta has been extended for another three years, to June 2024.
Barta will get a pay raise that will take him from $800,000 yearly to $1 million for the 2020-21 school year, and $1.05 million the following three years.
UI President Bruce Harreld said this in a news release:
“Gary Barta has shown an unwavering commitment to the University of Iowa and to our key athletic principles of winning, graduating our athletes and operating with integrity. While I join all Hawkeyes in celebrating the incredible success we had this past year in Big Ten and national competition, I am most proud that under Gary’s leadership our student athletes competed at this elite level while also excelling in the classroom. More than 300 student-athletes earned dean’s list and/or President’s List recognition, more than 200 student-athletes were named Academic All-Big Ten, and Iowa had a 90% Graduation Success Rate (GSR). This is what collegiate athletics is all about and I’m glad we will have Gary Barta at the helm for many years to come!”
In the same release, Barta said this:
“I’m grateful to President Harreld and everyone at the University for the opportunity I have to work in a great environment at a world-class institution. Our student-athletes, coaches and staff are having incredible success. We have the best fans in the country and their support is truly appreciated. And, I believe the best is yet to come.”
Barta, 55, was hired from the University of Wyoming to replace Bob Bowlsby as Iowa’s athletics director in the summer of 2006 after Bowlsby took a similar position at Stanford.
Barta is in his first year of a three-year term as a member of the College Football Playoff (CFP) Selection Committee.
In 2018-19 Iowa earned four Big Ten championships: men’s track and field, men’s gymnastics regular season (tie), wrestling regular-season (tie), and women’s basketball tournament. Iowa placed 38th in the Learfield IMG College Directors’ Cup standings, its highest ranking since 2000 (29th).
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The lowpoint of Barta’s tenure at the UI arguably was in 2017 when the university agreed to pay a total of $6.5 million to former UI associate athletic director Jane Meyer, former Hawkeyes field hockey coach Tracey Griesbaum and the Des Moines law firm that represented both in two discrimination lawsuits that were brought after Griesbaum’s firing by Barta in August 2014.
Barta has one of if not the most stable coaching staff in major-college athletics. His four highest-profile coaches, football coach Kirk Ferentz, men’s basketball coach Fran McCaffery, women’s basketball coach Lisa Bluder and wrestling coach Tom Brands, have all been at the school at least nine years. All but McCaffery were on the staff when Barta came to Iowa.
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