LEAD1 Interviews Iowa’s Gary Barta on the Impact of Athletics on Athletes and Fans

October 4th, 2017 | by CollegeAD
LEAD1 Interviews Iowa’s Gary Barta on the Impact of Athletics on Athletes and Fans


Any chance we get to listen to a sitting athletic director speak at length about his craft is something worth highlighting. That’s why we wanted to highlight this interview by Jonathan Yates of LEAD1 (formerly known as the Division IA Athletic Directors Association) with Gary Barta, Athletic Director of the Iowa Hawkeyes, which was done as part of their LEAD1EXPERIENCE.

Among other things, Barta discussed his “three legged stool” approach to a balanced life for student-athletes, and Iowa Athletics’ special relationship with the children’s hospital on campus that has been recently receiving national attention. The entire interview is worth your time for the stories and insight, but of particular interest to younger viewers would be the 23 minute mark where Barta goes into what he looks for in a department employee.


This interview also comes at an interesting time for Iowa Athletics. While they’ve received some great national attention, Barta and his staff are actually undergoing an intensive review of their strategic planning. This includes working with the university leadership on long-term financial planning. Considering that frame of reference, Barta’s insight on topics like paying student athletes and the facilities in his department take on a slightly deeper meaning, potentially illustrating where the staff at Iowa see college athletics as a whole moving in the coming years.

It’s no surprise to anyone that a major university is evaluating its plans in the face of all of the challenges college athletics has faced lately, but to hear a leader like Barta speak candidly about some of those changes, and yet still be so optimistic about the impact his department has on young people’s lives is refreshing. It’s not all doom and gloom.

Thanks to LEAD1 for providing such a great interview as a part of their LEAD1EXPERIENCE. We’ll be sure to highlight more of these as the series rolls on.



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