Iowa coach Lisa Bluder retires; assistant Jan Jensen will take over

Iowa women’s basketball coach Lisa Bluder has made the announcement that she will be retiring after an impressive 24-year tenure leading the Hawkeyes. With a remarkable 40 seasons of coaching experience under her belt, including two national championship game appearances in recent years, Bluder has solidified her place as the most successful women’s basketball coach in Big Ten history.

Associate head coach Jan Jensen, who has worked alongside Coach Bluder throughout her tenure at Iowa, will assume the role of head coach for the Hawkeyes. Jensen, who had previously served as Bluder’s assistant at Drake University and played under her leadership at the Bulldogs, is well-equipped to take on this new responsibility.

Lisa Bluder, an Iowa native and former player at Northern Iowa, has had an illustrious coaching career with an overall record of 884-396. Prior to her current position at Iowa, she made successful stops as a head coach at St. Ambrose and Drake, accumulating impressive records of 169-36 and 187-106 respectively. Bluder’s coaching journey began in 2000 when she took over the reins at Iowa.

During her 24 seasons with the Hawkeyes, Bluder achieved an impressive record of 528-254, leading the team to five Big Ten tournament titles. Under her guidance, Iowa secured 18 NCAA tournament appearances, solidifying their status as a formidable contender in college basketball. Bluder’s exceptional coaching skills also earned her the title of three-time Big Ten coach of the year. In Big Ten games alone, she recorded a remarkable 263-144 record.

In a heartfelt statement addressed to the fans, Bluder expressed her deep gratitude for being a part of the Iowa Hawkeye family throughout her career. She acknowledged the honor it has been to lead a women’s basketball program that is brimming with immensely talented and remarkable young women. Bluder highlighted the incredible achievements these players have accomplished both on the court and in their personal lives.

Read More:  Memorial Day storms hit East Coast, prompting flood watch in New York City and tornado warnings in nearby states

The Hawkeyes had a phenomenal season, finishing with an impressive 34-5 record. They were led by the exceptional talent of Caitlin Clark, who was selected as the top pick in the WNBA draft and will make her debut for the Indiana Fever in their season opener against Connecticut on Tuesday. Despite their remarkable performance, the Hawkeyes fell short in the national championship game against South Carolina in Cleveland. It was a disappointing outcome for the team, especially considering their loss to LSU in the 2023 title game in Dallas. However, the Hawkeyes have been dominant in the Big Ten tournament, clinching the title for three consecutive years.

As a senior this past season, Clark achieved an incredible feat by becoming the all-time leading scorer in Division I basketball, surpassing both men’s and women’s records. Finishing with a remarkable 3,951 points, Clark’s exceptional performance earned them the title of national player of the year for two consecutive seasons.

“Building a team is something Clark excels at,” he expressed in a heartfelt post on X. “I’m incredibly grateful for your unwavering faith in me. You truly deserve this retirement, coach. It’s been a long time coming.”

Bluder made the decision to retire as she started preparing for this offseason.

“After the season came to a close, I dedicated time to connect with our student-athletes and coaches, reflecting on the season and providing guidance to those who are transitioning to their next chapter,” shared Bluder. “During this process, I also took the opportunity to reflect on the profound impact this journey has had on me, as well as how I can continue to support and uplift this program. Additionally, I considered what lies ahead for my family and me. After taking a much-needed break with my husband, David, it became evident that the time has come for me to step down.”

Read More:  Patrick Mahomes Supports Harrison Butker, Stands Up for His Character

Retirement is never an opportune moment, and I’m certain that come fall, I will feel a void without the games, practices, road trips, electrifying atmosphere, devoted fans, and most significantly, the players. However, knowing that the University of Iowa’s women’s basketball program has firmly established itself and achieved enduring success brings me solace as I embark on a new role as the program’s most ardent supporter.

Leave a Comment