TurnkeyZRG Recruits Director of Athletic for the University of Iowa

January 31, 2024 – TurnkeyZRG recently assisted in the recruitment of Beth Goetz as the director of athletics for the University of Iowa. Past athletics director Gary Barta announced last year that he is retiring after 17 years at the university. “Beth is a talented and dynamic leader, and the national search we conducted has substantiated that she is the best athletics director for the University of Iowa,” said Barbara Wilson, president of University of Iowa. “She has done a remarkable job as interim, and I am confident she will lead our athletics department and student-athletes to new levels of achievement both on the field of play and in the classroom.”

The university launched a national search at the end of November 2023. The search committee was chaired by Nicole Grosland, associate dean for academic programs in the College of Engineering and professor of biomedical engineering.

“The search produced an impressive group of candidates,” said Ms. Grosland. “The committee had an opportunity to interview multiple sitting athletic directors from across the country. Beth emerged as a finalist with a strong vision to lead the department at this crucial time.”

Before coming to Iowa, Ms. Goetz served as director of athletics at Ball State University for four years. At Ball State, she supervised 19 Division I sports teams, all head coaches, and senior staff. Before that, Ms. Goetz served as the chief operating officer/senior woman administrator in the University of Connecticut athletics department from 2016—18. She previously served as the University of Minnesota’s deputy athletics director from 2013—15 and interim athletics director during the 2015—16 season.

Ms. Goetz was named to the NCAA Competition Oversight Committee in 2018 and served as vice chair of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee in 2021—22. She was named by Women Leaders in College Sports as the 2022 NCAA Division I FBS Nike Executive of the Year and recognized by the Indianapolis Business Journal as one of the publication’s 2021 Women of Influence.

“I am truly honored and humbled to lead Iowa’s storied athletics program, and I am grateful to president Wilson and the search committee for their confidence in my leadership,” said Ms. Goetz. “The University of Iowa is a world-class institution with a demonstrated commitment to athletics excellence, and I look forward to continuing to partner with our coaches and staff in support of all our student-athletes. It is a privilege to serve our campus and our passionate Hawkeye supporters.”

The Iowa Hawkeyes are the athletic teams that represent the University of Iowa. The Hawkeyes have varsity teams in 20 sports, seven for men and 13 for women; The teams participate in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association and are members of the Big Ten Conference. Currently, the school’s interim athletic director is Beth Goetz.

Related: TurnkeyZRG Recruits Head Coach for Yale Men’s Golf Team

Founded in 1996, TurnkeyZRG is a specialized talent recruitment/executive search firm filling C-level, senior-level and mid-management-level positions throughout sports, media and entertainment. Over the past 25 years, the firm has filled more than 1,400 positions. TurnkeyZRG helps teams, leagues, stadiums, arenas, theaters, college athletic departments, events, sponsors, agencies, media companies, private equity companies and other clients identify, recruit, and hire the best management talent.

TurnkeyZRG Places Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker as Next Head of NCAA
TurnkeyZRG has assisted in the recruitment Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker as the next president of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the major governing body for intercollegiate athletics, effective in March of next year. He succeeds Mark Emmert, who will continue to serve the NCAA as a consultant through June.

“College sports is undergoing significant transformation,” said Len Perna, chairman and CEO of the search firm. “The legal and policy environments are shifting continually, threatening the NCAA’s ability to maintain a consistent experience and a level playing field for student-athletes across the country. The best way to continue to support student-athletes is for the NCAA’s next leader to bring a new set of skills that meet the challenges of the moment. Gov. Baker’s record of bipartisan leadership in both the public and private sectors will be invaluable in the hard but critical work of bringing Democrats and Republicans in Congress together to secure a stable, sustainable future for college athletics.”

Len Perna is the founder, chairman, and CEO of Turnkey. He has 30-plus years’ experience in the sports and entertainment industry, with senior-level management experience in sales, event marketing and management, sponsorships, venue feasibility and development, facility operations, licensing, and legal affairs. Since founding Turnkey, Mr. Perna has managed over 1,400 executive searches.

Recently Called In

Texas A&M recently retained TurnkeyZRG to lead in its search for a new athletic director. The committee’s work will begin immediately and the hope is to identify the school’s next athletic director within four to six weeks, A&M officials said. “Texas A&M is a world-class university with a strong commitment to athletics excellence and the greatest fans in the world,” said Mark Welsh, president of Texas A&M. “We’re committed to maintaining the momentum of our athletics programs and selecting the next director of athletics is a critical part of that effort. I’m grateful to the committee members for volunteering their time for this important task and am confident that, with the help of the search firm, the committee will identify candidates who align with our core values and who are dedicated to the continued success of our student-athletes and outstanding athletic programs.”

“It’s an honor to serve Texas A&M in any way that I can, and I’m filled with pride by the opportunity to lead this search committee,” David Dunlap, chair the search committee. “President Welsh has pulled together an incredible group of individuals who will recommend dynamic, highly qualified prospects who will serve our university, coaches and student-athletes with integrity, respect and a relentless drive for excellence. I’m eager to get to work.”

Related: TurnkeyZRG Recruits Commissioner for the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Executive Editor; Lily Fauver, Senior Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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