Barta Press Conference Recap

Iowa Athletics Director Gary Barta met with the media on Friday to outline his search for a new men's basketball coach to replace Steve Alford.

*Barta met with the team on Friday and let them express to him what they were looking for in a coach. I got the feeling that the AD also reassured the players that he was going to hire a top-notch coach for whom they would be excited to play.

*Barta was asked if he would be releasing any recruits from letters of intent. He stated that he hoped that didn't happen, but would wait until a new coach was hired before answering any of those requests. He said that no players had asked for a release.

*Barta said that he would lead the search but he would likely form a small committee to help screen candidates and offer recommendations. He said he was thinking about hiring a head hunter firm, but had not done so yet.

*Barta said that he is looking for someone with "significant" coaching experience and although he wouldn't rule out an associate head coach or top assistant, he is looking for someone with head coaching under his belt.

*Barta stated that he will not speak publicly about the search and intimated that the next time we hear from him will be when he's announcing the new head coach.

*Barta said that the most important thing in his search will be finding someone that fits in at Iowa and the culture here. He's looking for a winner that's competitive academically with the leadership to develop young men and a person to represent the university in a first-class manner and with integrity in any setting.

*Barta said that he has no time frame, and although the players and recruits want to know, he wants to get it right and not rush.

*Barta has not named an interim coach, but will be meeting with Alford assistants Tim Buckley and Billy Garrett Saturday morning to discuss their futures. He said that he doesn't believe in dictating to his new head coach who he should have as assistants, but he would likely recommend that the new man interview Buckley and Garrett.

*Barta would not say how much Iowa would pay the new coach, but sounded confident that Iowa would be competitive with the national market. He also explained that the compensation would be affected by the new head coach's experience.

*When asked if he felt like Iowa was a football-first school, Barta explained that it's a school that appreciates all it's sports. In the fall, it's a football school and in the winter it's a basketball school.

*Barta said that he and Alford enjoyed a good relationship and they met formally at least once a week during the year.

*Alford informed Barta that things were getting serious with New Mexico on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.

*Barta has received calls from recruits.

*Alford surprised Barta with his decision, but the AD did not feel like he pushed him out the door by his comments last week in the media. Barta said that he believed things happened for a reason.

*Barta said the architects for Carver renovations and the new practice facility have been hired. He expected everything to be done within the next two years.

*Asked about the negative culture around the basketball program alluded to by Alford with his players on Thursday, Barta said it's a passionate situation in Iowa. That's what makes the fans so great but it can be a double-edged sword at times. He said that it comes with the territory.

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