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IOWA CITY, IOWA — Gary Barta announced his retirement Friday morning after 17 years as Athletic Director at the University of Iowa. Barta’s retirement will take effect on August 1st.

In a news release from the university, Barta said “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.”

The retirement was first announced in multiple online reports including The Athletic, Hawkeye Report and ESPN’s Pete Thamel.

The university said an interim athletic director will be named next week.

Barta has led the University of Iowa’s Athletic Department since 2006 when he was hired to replace Bob Bowlsby. His tenure has included successes including four National Championships for the Hawkeye wrestling team, an appearance by the Hawkeyes in the women’s basketball national championship game in March and Rose Bowl and Big Ten Championship appearances by the Hawkeye football team.

Barta has been a controversial figure at times in Iowa City, facing numerous costly lawsuits during his 16 years in charge. That includes a multi-million dollar lawsuit agreed to with a group of former football players earlier this year as well as numerous other discrimination lawsuits that resulted in millions of dollars in payments.