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Gene Taylor, the top aide to Iowa athletic director Gary Barta for the past three years, is leaving to take the helm of the Kansas State athletic department, the university announced Friday.

Taylor, 59, came to Iowa in June 2014 after serving for 13 years as athletic director at North Dakota State. His title was deputy director of athletics at an annual salary of $267,800. That position was newly created.

Taylor told reporters in Fargo, N.D., when he left that he was making the move in the hope of landing a top job at a BCS-level school. Kansas State is a member of the Big 12 Conference.

"Some may not necessarily agree with that. Believe me, I can't tell you how many people I've talked to about this because I knew this was going to be such an agonizing decision," Taylor said in 2014. "Those that I talked to in the profession, including Gary, have indicated that if the BCS route is the way I want to go, this may be the step I have to take."

Barta is a graduate of North Dakota State.

Taylor will be replacing John Currie at Kansas State. Currie resigned in February to take the athletic director job at Tennessee. Currie was being paid $775,000 in his eighth year at Kansas State.

Taylor will be formally introduced in Manhattan, Kan., on Monday morning.

"I’m so excited for him and for Kansas State. He has such a great combination of passion, experience and the ability to lead by bringing people together toward a common goal," Barta said in a statement. "He’s made a big difference during his time with the Hawkeyes. I’m going to miss him as a colleague and as a friend.”

At Iowa, Taylor was responsible for administrative oversight for the athletic department's day-to-day operations, serving as the primary adviser to Barta. He also was responsible for the department's financial, information technology and human resources operations.

Taylor has a bachelor’s degree in business management from Arizona State and a master’s in sports administration from St. Thomas of Miami, Fla. Before his tenure at NDSU, he held several administrative positions at the U.S. Naval Academy.

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