By James Geerdes
After eight seasons at the helm of Iowa softball, Marla Looper has announced her resignation. Athletics Director Gary Barta said on May 16 that Looper would pursue other professional opportunities.
“We appreciate all of Marla’s contributions the past eight years,” Barta said in a release. “Marla has served Iowa and her student-athletes well, and we wish her all the best in her future endeavors.”
Looper’s career at Iowa began in 2011, when the team posted a 27-24 record. In 2012, the Hawkeyes compiled a 26-26 record under Looper.
In 2013, following a 30-24 season with an 8-15 conference record, Barta extended Looper’s contract through 2018. Now, five years later and with the contract expired, Looper has officially resigned.
“I have been fortunate to work with some amazing young women throughout my eight years,” Looper said in a release. “They have excelled on the field and in the classroom and community. I am thankful for the opportunity I have had to serve at Iowa and lead the women’s softball program.”
Looper’s stint at Iowa consistently produced losing seasons. Following a promising 2013 season, the Hawkeyes suffered through a 16-30 season in 2014. The following year, Iowa posted a 19-40 record, then 13-39 in 2016, then 19-32 in 2017, and most recently, a 21-32 mark.
A national search for Iowa’s next head softball coach will begin immediately, according to the release. The effort will be chaired by Deputy Athletics Director Barbara Burke.