Barbara Burke, the Iowa deputy director of athletics, announces retirement

Burke announced her plan Friday to retire after her current contract ends in June of 2023.

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Grace Smith

Iowa’s Deputy Director of Athletics, Senior Women’s Administrator, and Chief Operating Officer Barbara Burke poses for a portrait in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday, Feb. 18, 2022.

Chris Werner, Summer Sports Editor


Barbara Burke, the Iowa deputy director of athletics, announced Friday that she plans to retire after her current contract expires in June of 2023. 

Burke, who has been involved in college sports for the last 40 years, said she will remain in her position as Iowa begins to search for her replacement this summer. 

I have had the honor of working side-by-side with Barbara both during her time at Iowa and when I was at Wyoming. She is one of the best athletic administrators in the country,” Iowa athletic director Gary Barta said in a release. “She is a consummate professional, she’s a problem-solver, and she cares deeply about student-athletes. I am grateful to be able to work with her for another year and then will look forward to celebrating her career as she moves into retirement.”

Burke was named to her current position in 2017 after joining the UI one year prior.

 In 2019, Burke formed the HERky’s initiative to celebrate the history and tradition of women’s sports at Iowa.

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“I have been blessed and am humbled to work with so many wonderful individuals, it is difficult to put one’s life work into words. I am thankful for the lasting friendships and wonderful memories I will take with me,” Burke said in a release. “I want to thank Gary for the opportunity to work at Iowa and am thrilled that I will be able to end my career at this institution. We have a great group of coaches, student-athletes and staff. It has been an honor to represent the Hawkeyes.”

Before coming to Iowa City, Burke worked in athletics for Tulane, Eastern Illinois, Wyoming, UTEP, Marshall, and West Virginia State. 

During her career, Burke has served on multiple administrative boards including the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee, and the Mountain West Conference Championship Committee. 

Burke was a student-athlete at Western Michigan where she played basketball and softball from 1976-80. 

Burke was inducted into Western Michigan’s Hall of Fame in 1988.

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