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LARAMIE, Wyo. — Senior associate athletic director Barbara Burke will temporarily run Wyoming's athletic department following the announcement of athletic director Gary Barta's planned departure Aug. 1, university officials have announced.

Coaches, meanwhile, say they expect little disruption after Friday's announcement that Barta has been tapped for athletic director at Iowa.

University President Tom Buchanan said Friday that an interim AD would be named "within the next few days," leaving open the possibility that that person might not be Burke.

Burke has been at Wyoming eight years and has been senior associate AD since 2001. She didn't speculate on whether she would seek the job permanently.

"Since this just happened, I don't want to look too far into the future," she said. "This is a good job and I know there will be a lot of good candidates who apply for it."

Strength and conditioning coach Scott Bennett was hired nine years ago by then-Athletic Director Lee Moon and has now seen both Moon and Barta depart.

"Gary did a lot for our strength program and I owe him a lot of thanks," he said. "I think he filled the immediate need that was present at that time.

"An athletics department is no different than what it represents," Bennett said. "We represent a lot of teams here, and our department here is a great team."

Athletics trainer Robb Williams said Barta focused on transforming Wyoming athletics from "good to great."

"I don't think we finished that, but an attitude was brought that one can be great here," he said. "There will be some speculation of what's going to happen, but the die-hards around here will put their heads down and go to work. It will be business as usual at the University of Wyoming."

Copyright © 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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