Lisa Bluder [600x400]
Lisa Bluder [600x400] (Credit: Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire)

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Iowa women's basketball coach Lisa Bluder announced Monday that she is retiring after 24 years guiding the Hawkeyes and 40 seasons in coaching overall, including national championship game appearances the past two seasons. Bluder, 63, is the winningest women's basketball coach in Big Ten history.

Associate head coach Jan Jensen, who has been Bluder's assistant her entire time at Iowa, will take over as the Hawkeyes' head coach. Jensen previously was Bluder's assistant at Drake after playing for Bluder with the Bulldogs.

An Iowa native who played at Northern Iowa, Bluder finished with an overall career coaching record of 884-396. She had stops as a head coach at St. Ambrose (169-36 in six seasons) and Drake (187-106 in 10 seasons) before taking over at Iowa in 2000.

With the Hawkeyes, Bluder was 528-254, with five Big Ten tournament titles. Iowa made 18 NCAA tournament appearances in Bluder's 24 seasons, and she was a three-time Big Ten coach of the year. She went 263-144 in Big Ten games.

"It has been the honor of my career to be a part of the Iowa Hawkeye family," Bluder wrote in a statement released by Iowa that was addressed to fans. "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."

The Hawkeyes went 34-5 this past season behind star guard Caitlin Clark, who was the No. 1 pick in April's WNBA draft and will play in the Indiana Fever's WNBA season opener Tuesday at Connecticut. The Hawkeyes lost to South Carolina in the national championship game in Cleveland. Iowa lost to LSU in the 2023 title game in Dallas. The Hawkeyes won the past three Big Ten tournament titles.

Clark became the all-time leading scorer in Division I basketball, men's or women's, as a senior this past season, finishing with 3,951 points. Clark was national player of the year the past two seasons.

"Simply no one better at building a team," Clark said in a post on X. "Thank you for believing in me more than anyone. Enjoy retirement, coach. Very much deserved."

Bluder said as she began preparing for this offseason, she came to the decision to retire.

"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," Bluder wrote. "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."