Butler University athletic director Collier announces retirement

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Butler University athletic director Barry Collier speaks during a press conference on June 14, 2017, at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. (Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire)

Barry Collier, the longtime director of athletics at Butler University, announced his retirement Wednesday.

Collier, who has overseen Butler’s athletic programs since 2006—including the men’s basketball team’s rise to national prominence, highlighted by back-to-back Final Four runs in 2010 and 2011—plans to step down effective April 30, 2024.

In a message to students, faculty and staff at Butler, Collier, 69, said he was retiring to spend more time with friends and family. The Indianapolis Star first reported the news Wednesday.

“I am incredibly grateful for the opportunities afforded me as a student-athlete, coach, and director of athletics and for the many wonderful relationships that I have built along the way,” Collier said in written remarks. “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.”

In addition to playing for the university in the 1970s, Collier was the head coach for Butler’s men’s basketball team from 1989 to 2000. He compiled a 196-132 record at Butler, with three trips to the NCAA tournament and nine winning seasons. He trails only Tony Hinkle on Butler’s all-time coaching victory list.

Collier left Butler to take over as head coach for the University of Nebraska, leading that program for six years, before returning to take the job of athletic director—something he said in his remarks was “the icing on the cake” for his career in athletics. Since his return, Collier orchestrated the program’s move from the Horizon League to the Big East Conference, with a brief stop in the Atlantic 10 Conference along the way.

Collier is credited with formalizing Hinkle’s organizational philosophy for success known as “The Butler Way,” which emphasizes five program pillars: humility, passion, unity, servanthood and thankfulness.

“It has been my honor to be a part of the Butler Family, to proudly wear the blue and white uniform, then to recruit and mentor tremendous young men as the men’s basketball coach, and to have them remain a part of my life; and to lead an athletics department of incredibly talented professionals who work each and every day on behalf of our student-athletes,” Collier said.

Collier helped secure games at Hinkle Fieldhouse during the 2021 NCAA men’s basketball tournament, which was held entirely in Indiana because of the coronavirus pandemic.

He has also been at the helm during several challenges with the athletics program. That includes four coaching changes for the men’s basketball team since the departure of Brad Stevens in 2013 and the firing of women’s basketball coach Beth Couture, who was accused of mistreating players. Currently, Butler is entangled in a lawsuit related to allegations that an athletic trainer sexually assaulted women’s soccer players from 2019 to 2021.

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