STANFORD, Calif. -- Stanford hired Iowa athletic director Bob Bowlsby on Tuesday to run the Cardinal's athletic department.
He will join the university in July as the replacement for Ted Leland, who left earlier this year to become vice president for university advancement at Pacific. Former football coach Bill Walsh has served as interim athletic director since then.
"I know it's a good fit and I think the folks at Stanford feel so as well," Bowlsby said in a telephone conference call. "I've been to the Stanford campus a couple of times and I'm impressed with the people I've met with. It's easy to get a feel for the pride of the university and I was smitten by what I saw and felt there even at that point."
Bowlsby has been at Iowa for nearly 15 years, overseeing a program with 24 varsity sports and a $56 million budget.
Bowlsby will lead a unique Stanford program that combines some of the nation's top sports programs at one of the most highly respected academic institutions. The school has 34 varsity programs and an annual athletic budget of $60 million and won 50 national team championships under Leland's 14-year tenure.
"I want to continue the tradition of success at Stanford," Bowlsby said. "That success is self-evident of a lot of good decisions that have been made. I will come in with an open mind."
Bowlsby was became Iowa's 10th athletic director in 1991 and during that time coordinated an era of growth and success on and off the field in several of the school's programs.
Although it took a while, he has ultimately won praise among Hawkeyes fans for hiring Kirk Ferentz in 1999 to replace football coach Hayden Fry. But Bowlsby was criticized by some for not hiring Bob Stoops, a former Iowa player credited with turning around the Oklahoma program.
Last month probably marked his last significant coaching change when he fired wrestling coach Jim Zalesky and hired former Iowa wrestling star Tom Brands.
Bowlsby oversaw the $87 million renovation of Kinnick Stadium, which will be completed this fall. Stanford is also in the process of renovating its football stadium, a project which should be completed in time for next season.
"Ironically a project in which I put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into will open this fall and I won't get to move into," Bowlsby said.
Bowlsby will continue working in Iowa City until midsummer, and an interim athletic director will be appointed later this year, Iowa officials said.