Legendary Iowa head women’s basketball coach Lisa Bluder announces retirement

In a spring shocker, the greatest coach in Iowa Hawkeye women’s basketball history is stepping away.

Iowa head women’s basketball coach Lisa Bluder announced on Monday that she is retiring after 24 seasons guiding the Hawkeye program. Bluder exits the helm in Iowa City with the Iowa program in the best position in its history.

Alongside superstar guard Caitlin Clark and a talented cast of players, Iowa made back-to-back trips to the Final Four and national championship game. The Hawkeyes won 30-plus games in each of the past two seasons, captured the Big Ten regular season championship during the 2021-22 season and won each of the past three Big Ten Tournaments.

“It is with a range of emotions that I share with you today that I have decided to step down from leading the Iowa women’s basketball team after 24 memorable years. … It has been the honor of my career to be a part of the Iowa Hawkeye family, and to lead a women’s basketball program filled with so many talented and remarkable young women, who have gone on to do great things in their careers and, more importantly, in their lives.

“There is no denying that this past season was incredible for so many reasons, and we could not have accomplished our achievements without all of you. After the season ended, I spent time with our student-athletes and coaches reviewing the season and preparing those moving on for what comes next. With that also came personal contemplation about what this journey has meant to me, how to best champion this program, and what the future looks like for my family and me. After then taking some time away with my husband, David, it became clear to me that I am ready to step aside.

“There is never an ideal time to retire and I am sure this fall that I will miss the games, the practices, the road trips, the atmosphere, the tremendous fans and, most importantly, the players. But my belief in the foundation of this program, knowing that success is now an unrelenting component of women’s basketball at the University of Iowa gives me comfort as I transition to become the program’s biggest champion,” Bluder said in her statement.

The longtime Hawkeye head coach accomplished much in Iowa City. Bluder departs Iowa as the winningest coach in program history, racking up a record of 528-254 (262-145 Big Ten) with the Hawkeyes.

Bluder’s overall coaching mark was 884-396 across stops at St. Ambrose, Drake and Iowa. The Hawkeyes have elevated assistant coach Jan Jensen as their next head women’s basketball coach.

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Story originally appeared on Hawkeyes Wire