Iowa director of athletics Gary Barta will take an extended leave of absence to undergo surgery for prostate cancer.

In a statement, Iowa officials confirmed this morning that Iowa’s 12th-year director of athletics will be off the job for an extended period of time and that deputy director of athletics Barbara Burke will run the department until Barta returns.

“Gary Barta will take an extended medical leave and undergo surgery and treatment for prostate cancer,’’ Iowa announced in a statement. “He will return to work as soon as his health and recovery allow.’’

Barta, 54, has led the Iowa athletic department since 2006. He previously spent four years as the director of athletics at Wyoming and worked as an athletics administrator at Washington and from 1990-96, at Northern Iowa.

Barta was named in 2016 by the National Collegiate Directors of Athletics as one of its four national athletics directors of the year.

Burke joined the Hawkeye staff in 2016 and was promoted to deputy director of athletics in April after Gene Taylor was named the director of athletics at Kansas State.

She has been the athletic director for sport administration and event management at Iowa since 2016 and in addition to being Iowa’s senior women’s administrator, she has been involved in all strategic planning and has assisted in day-to-day operations of the football and men’s basketball programs.

Burke spent six years as the deputy director of athletics at Tulane from 2014-16 after spending six years as the director of athletics at Eastern Illinois.

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