Gary Barta is in his 15th year as the director of athletics at the University of Iowa, where he occupies the Henry B. and Patricia B. Tippie Director of Athletics Chair. The position was endowed in 2017 by the Tippies, longtime supporters of the University of Iowa and Hawkeye Athletics. Henry B. Tippie earned his UI degree in 1949 and was presented with an honorary degree in 2009.
Barta is in his second year as a member of the College Football Playoff (CFP) Selection Committee, serving as committee chairman in 2020. He was appointed to the selection committee by the CFP Management Committee in February 2019 and is serving a three-year term.
After claiming four Big Ten championships in 2018-19, Iowa Athletics had a strong start to 2020 with the field hockey team winning both the regular season and tournament championships while advancing to the NCAA Elite Eight. Iowa’s soccer team advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in school history and Hawkeye football completed a 10-win season with a resounding Holiday Bowl win over Southern California.
Prior to the winter seasons being canceled due to COVID-19 in March, the Hawkeye wrestling team captured the Big Ten regular season and postseason championships, while men’s and women’s basketball were on pace to participate in the 2020 NCAA tournaments.
Barta’s involvement in the UI campus and the greater Iowa City community extends beyond his position as director of the UI’s Intercollegiate Athletics programs. He is a member of the President’s Cabinet, comprised of vice presidents and other campus leaders who provide counsel to the UI’s president.
Barta remains active at the conference and national levels. He serves on the NCAA DI Council and the CFP Selection Committee. He is serving as chairman of the CFP selection committee in 2020. Barta is also regularly involved in National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and LEAD1 (formerly known as the Division 1A Athletic Directors Association).
From a community standpoint, Barta recently served on the United Way of Johnson & Washington Counties Board of Directors. He is a long-standing member of the UI Partnership for Alcohol Safety Committee and has been a regular participant in numerous Chamber and Convention & Visitors Bureau initiatives during his tenure.
Barta earned a bachelor of science degree in mass communication and broadcast journalism from North Dakota State in 1987. He was an option quarterback for Bison football squads that won the Division II NCAA National Championship in 1983, 1985, and 1986. Barta, and his wife, Connie, have a son, Luke (22), and a daughter, Madison (20). He was born September 4, 1963, in Minneapolis.