The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Beth Goetz’s role as Iowa’s interim AD

As an interim, Goetz takes on the same responsibilities as a full-time athletic director would, but there are some differences between her and former Athletic Director Gary Barta’s contracts.
Grace Smith
University of Iowa’s Interim Athletic Director Beth Goetz speaks with members of the media during a press conference at the Hansen Football Performance Center in Iowa City on Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2023. After Goetz said in a statement released on Oct. 30 that she informed offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz that “this is his last season with the program,” Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz and Goetz answered questions from the media about the statement.

The trajectory of Iowa Athletics is in the hands of Interim Athletic Director Beth Goetz.

Since the start of her term on Aug. 1, Goetz’s has dealt with several different scenarios, from the state gambling investigation involving Iowa athletes to offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz’s performance objectives and future with the football program.

Goetz handles herself as if the interim title doesn’t exist, and that’s exactly what University of Iowa President Barbara Wilson wanted when she promoted Goetz from deputy director of athletics to the interim AD.

“I told her when she took this position, ignore the interim and do the job, and she has,” Wilson told The Daily Iowan on Oct. 17. “She’s out and about connecting with community members. She’s giving talks, she’s representing us at the national and at the Big Ten level. And she’s getting out and about and working with all the coaches.”

One frequently asked question around Goetz’s dismissal of Brian Ferentz was if she was even allowed to make such a big decision with an interim title — and the answer is yes.

Interim role

According to an anonymous source, while situations vary from school to school, interim athletic directors are treated the same and are expected to take on the same roles as those in full-time positions. The source said Goetz has the power to make all the decisions a full-time AD would, and she is supposed to operate in the best interest of the university.

Goetz’s $650,000 annual salary is the same base stipend former AD Gary Barta received when he was in the full-time position.

In Goetz’s contract, which was obtained through a public records request, it states her interim position is “At Will,” meaning Goetz can be fired at any time, for any reason.

This is different from Barta’s contract, which says the university may terminate him for cause. This means the university must have a specific reason to fire Barta and provide 30 days written notice “of the cause asserted against the director and a reasonable opportunity to respond.”

Goetz’s contract said the university will open a search for full-time AD, and she will be encouraged to apply. If Goetz is not hired full-time, the contract states she will return to her role as Iowa’s deputy director, which she started in September 2022.

When Wilson spoke with the DI on Oct. 17, the president said the search for a new athletic director was not yet underway and that she “very much hopes” that Goetz applies for the position.

Since Goetz started her new role, she has improved the athletic department’s relationship with Iowa’s NIL collective and continued construction of various facilities, including the Goschke Family Wrestling Training Center and a new Gymnastics and Spirit Squads Training Center.

Duane Banks Field, home of the Iowa baseball team, will also go through $27.4 million of renovations following the 2024 season, pending regents’ approval.

The Iowa women’s basketball squad broke the all-time attendance record for a women’s basketball game on Oct. 15 with 55,646 fans, and the UI completed a feasibility study on Carver-Hawkeye Arena to possibly move the student section closer to the floor to create a better fan environment during Goetz’s tenure so far.

Goetz is making a strong case for the full-time position and has plenty of previous experience at other Power Five schools.

Her first role in an athletics department was from 2001-08 as an assistant athletic director at Missouri-St. Louis. She then transitioned to Butler and acted as the associate athletic director from 2008-13.

Goetz got her first taste of the Big Ten when she was hired as deputy athletics director at Minnesota from 2013-15 and then promoted to interim athletic director for the Gophers in 2015-16.

She then acted as the chief operating officer at UConn from 2016-18 and spent four years as athletic director at Ball State before becoming Iowa’s deputy director of athletics and chief operating officer on Sept. 7, 2022.

Interims around the country

Goetz isn’t the only person who has been hired as an interim AD under tough circumstances.

On Jan. 26, 2018, former USA Gymnastics doctor and Michigan State employee Larry Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison for sexually abusing more than 150 girls and young women, including some Spartan athletes.

That same day, Michigan State Athletic Director Mark Hollis stepped down. MSU President Lou Anna Simon also stepped down.

Two days after the sentencing, ESPN aired a special edition of “E:60” that gave details on how MSU handled the Nassar sexual abuse scandal and the alleged rape culture at the school.

Bill Beekman was thrown right into the fire and hired as the interim athletic director on Feb. 5 by then-interim president John Engler.

Beekman had no previous athletic administration experience but was hired full-time on July 26, 2018, by Engler, who was still interim at the time. Beekman later resigned on Aug. 5, 2021.

Another interim who was appointed in a time of strife was Ted Kadowaki at Long Beach State University in August 2022. The school was facing a budget deficit, and Kadowaki came out of retirement to be in charge of mitigating it as much as possible.

Kadowaki had previous athletic department and finance experience from Long Beach State, as he served in the university’s finance department and was the associate athletics director of business from 1998 to 2006. Kadowaki did not get hired as the full-time athletic director and instead went back into retirement once his contract was up.

It’s unclear where the future of Iowa Athletics will go as Goetz’s contract ends early 2024.

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About the Contributors
Kenna Roering, Sports Editor
Kenna Roering is The Daily Iowan's sports editor. She is a junior at the University of Iowa majoring in journalism with a minor in sports and recreation management. Kenna previously worked as a sports reporter for men's wrestling and volleyball and was the summer sports editor in 2023. This is her second year with the DI.
Grace Smith, Senior photojournalist and filmmaker
Grace Smith is a fourth-year student at the University of Iowa double majoring in Journalism and Cinematic Arts. In her four years at The Daily Iowan, she has held the roles of photo editor, managing summer editor, and visual storyteller. Outside of The Daily Iowan, Grace has held an internship at The Denver Post and pursued freelance assignments for the Cedar Rapids Gazette and the Des Moines Register.