The Iowa Athletic Council was established in 1998 following a national leadership conference designed to assist participants in working together more effectively for the benefit of students participating in interscholastic athletics. The purpose of the Iowa Athletic Council is to promote open discussion among the members to improve communication among all participating organizations for the mutual benefit of the organizations and student-athletes involved in interscholastic athletics throughout Iowa. It is felt this can be accomplished by fostering discussion about common issues. The main focus is the development of sportsmanship, citizenship and character.

The membership of the Iowa Athletic Council consists of the Iowa High School Athletic Association, Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union, Iowa High School Athletic Directors Association, Iowa Association of Track Coaches, Iowa Association of Track Officials, Iowa Basketball Coaches Association, Iowa Cheerleading Coaches Association, Iowa Football Coaches Association, Iowa Girls' Coaches Association, Iowa Baseball Coaches Association, Iowa High School Swim Coaches Association, Iowa Soccer Coaches Association, Iowa Wrestling Coaches and Officials' Association, and Iowa representatives from the National Federation Coaches Association and the National Federation of Officials Association.