Athletic Director Barry Collier announces retirement

Collegian file photo.


Butler Vice President and Athletic Director Barry Collier announced that he will retire in April 2024 in an email to the Butler community on Nov. 8. 

Collier has served as the vice president and director of athletics since August 2006. He coached the Butler men’s basketball team for 11 years beginning in 1989. In 1997, Collier led the team to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in 35 years. He then took them to two more in a four-year span. 

“While it has been my privilege to be a member of teams at eight different institutions, Butler is the place that I have always called home,” Collier said in his statement. 

Under his leadership, the men’s basketball team had some of its most notable seasons in the 2010 and 2011 runs to the NCAA Final Four. Over the months surrounding those seasons, the men’s basketball team brought in more than $1.1 billion of media value to the university

In 2013, Collier and President James Danko oversaw the school’s move to the Big East Conference. That year, the women’s cross country team placed third at the NCAA Cross Country Championships — the highest finish for a women’s team in university history. 

While the athletic department has made strides under Collier’s leadership, his legacy is also shadowed by various controversies. Some of these include the firing of Beth Couture, the former women’s basketball coach who was accused of mistreating players, reports of emotional abuse within the women’s volleyball program and active lawsuits against the university for alleged sexual abuse by a former athletic trainer. 

Danko said that at this time, they will be focusing on acknowledging Collier and his achievements. 

“I am going to just let the next 30 days be [a] celebration of Barry … and I’m going to be spending some time with people that are knowledgeable and insightful, including Barry, just to kind of assess where they’re at,” Danko said. “The good news is we have until the end of April, so we’ve got a lot of time. So I haven’t started drafting a job description or [saying] ‘what do we need?’ It’ll be an important move for Butler and hoping to find somebody as great as Barry has been over the years.” 

Mark Apple, the director of strategic communication for the Office of the President, said that while the search process for a new athletic director is still being finalized, they know it will not be a simple task. 

“Replacing a man of [Collier’s] stature will not be easy, and we need to carefully consider the process for identifying candidates for the role,” Apple said in an email to the Collegian. “While that process is still being finalized, we expect that there will be several qualified candidates — both external and internal — who will want to continue Barry’s exceptional work in leading Butler Athletics.” 

Danko said in a statement to the Butler community that he will provide further updates on the transition of athletic directors in due time. 


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