Home Sports Iowa coach Lisa Bluder retires after Caitlin Clark’s departure; longtime assistant Jan Jensen to take over

Iowa coach Lisa Bluder retires after Caitlin Clark’s departure; longtime assistant Jan Jensen to take over

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Lisa Bluder retired after 24 seasons as Iowa's head coach. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Lisa Bluder retired after 24 seasons as Iowa’s head coach. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Iowa women’s basketball coach Lisa Bluder announced her retirement Monday.

Longtime Iowa assistant Jan Jensen will take over as head coach. Iowa shared the news on social networks.

Bluder, 63, coached the Hawkeyes for 24 seasons from 2000 to 2024. She led the Hawkeyes to 18 NCAA Tournament appearances and was the 2018-19 Naismith Coach of the Year. She steps down after overseeing the Caitlin Clark era that grew women’s basketball substantially.

“It has been an honor for my career to be a part of the Iowa Hawkeye family,” Bluder wrote in the iowa declaration announcing his retirement. “And to lead a women’s basketball program filled with so many talented and remarkable young women, who have done great things in their careers and, more importantly, in their lives.”

With Clark and Bluder leading the way, the Hawkeyes reached four straight NCAA tournaments and advanced to the national championship in each of the last two seasons. Clark left the program last month after securing a spot as college basketball’s all-time leading scorer. She was the Indiana Fever’s first pick in the WNBA Draft and will make her professional debut on Tuesday.

Clark congratulated Bluder on his retirement shortly after it was announced.

“Simply no one better to team up with,” Clark wrote on social media. “Thank you for believing in me more than anyone. Enjoy your retirement, coach. Well deserved.”

The Hawkeyes posted a winning record in all but one of Bluder’s seasons at the helm and won at least 20 games in each of the last eight seasons. Iowa went 528-254 (.675) under Bluder’s leadership.

Bluder previously coached 10 seasons at Drake, where he led the Bulldogs to NCAA tournament appearances in four of his last six seasons. Drake compiled a 187-106 (.638) record with Bluder.

Bluder began her college coaching career with six seasons as head coach of the NAIA St. Ambrose program, where she posted a 169-36 (.824) record and was named NAIA Coach of the Year in 1990.

With a combined record of 884-396 (.691), Bluder retires as the 10th winningest coach in women’s college basketball history. She is a three-time Big Ten Coach of the Year and the all-time leader in wins at Iowa and in the Big Ten.

Jensen played for Bluder on Drake. She later joined Bluder’s staff as an assistant and recruiting coordinator at Drake in 1993 and followed her to Iowa when Bluder took over the program in 2000. Jensen has been Bluder’s associate head coach for the past 20 seasons.

“There is no better person to lead this program than Jan Jensen, and I am thrilled that he will have the opportunity to build on the foundation established,” Bluder wrote. “I am committed to helping her and her staff in whatever capacity they need moving forward.”

Jensen maintained her role as Bluder’s recruiting coordinator and has been instrumental in Iowa’s recruiting success over the years. This is her first job as a head coach.

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