Barta: 'Best is Yet to Come'
Jan. 31, 2013
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Gary Barta, the University of Iowa's director of athletics, sat down earlier this month with staff of hawkeyesports.com. The 80-minute session covered a wide variety of topics, all of great interest to friends of the University of Iowa and fans of the Iowa Hawkeyes.
Below is a sampling of what Barta had to say. A transcript of the full interview will be available exclusively inside the February 2013 edition of Hawk Talk Monthly presented by Transamerica, which will be available HERE, after 2 p.m. today. A video of the interview will also be available at that time inside Hawkeye All-Access, the multi-media portal of hawkeyesports.com. You can get to Hawkeye All-Access by clicking HERE.
One-on-One with Gary Barta
"So the indoor facility is done. It's tremendous. It's fantastic. The response I'm getting from our coaches and student-athletes is that it's been a tremendous addition. We're out to bid right now to start Phase II. Phase II has everything else in it. It has the locker rooms, the meeting rooms, the athletic medical training rooms, the video operations, the coaches' offices. Everything else that our football program needs on a day to day basis to come to work and have success is built into this Phase II."
"Our swimming program was swimming in a pool that was built in 1927. We used to say that it was `historic.' Recruits would come in and say, `This is old.' So potato, potato...old versus historic. Now we have a state of the art pool. What's been interesting to watch is the success of our swim team has walked hand in hand with that. You aren't guaranteed by building a new building you're going to have success. You've got to have great coaching, you've got to bring in great student athletes, but you really give yourself a chance by upgrading."
"One of the things I've always appreciated about the Big Ten Conference is stability. Another of the things I've appreciated is our principles and values."
"Television is clearly a big part of what conferences look at and do. If I think about television today versus television 20 years ago in college athletics, it has become ingrained in a lot of decisions we make."
"We all were offered the opportunity to list who we would want to maintain consistent play with the last time around. Mine was a simple list. I just took a circle and drew around our state, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Northwestern, Nebraska. Those made sense. We didn't get all we wanted, nor did anybody else. We got a lot, we didn't get it all. Well, now we're back to the table again, and I'm going to list the same schools, because those are the ones that make the most sense for us."
"Well, anybody who is familiar with Hawkeye athletics has either met, spent time with, been the beneficiary of John Streif. He is the classic example of `Servant Leadership.'"
"The foundation of our strategic plan is you need to win, you need to graduate, and you need to do both of those the right way."
"There are also sports where over a period of time we haven't had success. During the strategic planning process I'm working with those coaches to break it down. Is it a facility issue? Is it a recruiting issue? Is it a financial travel issue? What is it that's holding us back, and let's put that into our plan with that particular sport."
"I wake up every day saying the best is yet to come, and I believe that, and everybody who works here needs to believe that. Every student-athlete that's here has to believe that. It's not going to be easy. But we need to keep those three principles in mind: Win, graduate, do it right. We can do all three."