University of Iowa Athletics
P. Sue Beckwith, MD, Head Women’s Basketball Coach

Lisa Bluder

Lisa Bluder - Women's Basketball - University of Iowa Athletics

Bio

Lisa Bluder is in her 24th year as the P. Sue Beckwith, MD, Head Women’s Basketball Coach. The position was endowed in 2021 by P. Sue Beckwith, MD, one of UI athletics’ most generous supporters. Sue Beckwith was a four-year letter winner with Iowa Women’s Basketball (1976-1980) and has earned three UI degrees; 1980 BS, 1984 MD, and 2015 MBA.

As the all-time winningest coach in program history, the Hawkeyes have advanced to 22 postseason appearances (18 NCAA and four WNIT) in 24 seasons, including NCAA Tournament berths in 14 of the last 16 seasons. Iowa advanced to the postseason in 16 consecutive seasons (14 NCAA and two WNIT) when a postseason tournament was held. The 2020 pandemic cut the 2019-20 season short, resulting in the sole missed tournament season.

THE BLUDER FILE

  • 884-396 (.691) overall record
  • 528-254 (.675) record at Iowa
  • 262-145 (.643) Big Ten record at Iowa
  • Surpassed Hall of Famer C. Vivian Stringer (269 wins) as Iowa’s all-time winningest coach in program history on Feb. 10, 2014 (Northwestern, 90-84) and passed Stringer for most wins over a Big Ten opponent (247). 
  • NCAA Division I women’s basketball’s 10th winningest coach (884 wins)
  • Dean of the Big Ten Coaches
  • 2019 Naismith Coach of the Year
  • Coached the 2018-19 Hawkeyes to their first Big Ten Tournament Title since 2001 and the 2021-22 Hawkeyes to Iowa’s first ever Big Ten regular-season title and Big Ten Tournament Championship in the same year 
  • Coached the 2023-24 Hawkeyes to their second National Championship appearance in program history
  • Coached the 2022-23 Hawkeyes to their first National Championship appearance in program history and first Final Four since 1993
  • Iowa is the first Big Ten team to compete for back-to-back National Championship’s in Big Ten conference history
  • Led Iowa to 17, 20-win seasons in her 24 years, including 15 of the last 17 years
  • Took Iowa to its first Sweet Sixteen since 1996 in 2015, returning again in 2021, and its first Elite Eight since 1993 in 2019
  • 2015 Carol Eckman Award winner
  • Three-time Big Ten Coach of the Year (2001, 2008, 2010)
  • Three-time WBCA Regional Coach of the Year (2001, 2008, 2018, 2019)
  • Posted a winning record in 23 of her 24 years at Iowa, including 18 upper-division finishes in the Big Ten Conference
  • Named to the Division I Midwest Representative of the WBCA Board of Directors in 2003
  • Has served on the WBCA Kodak All-American selection committee for four terms and the Midwest Regional Advisory Committee for the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championships
  • 2012 Quad City Times Hall of Fame inductee
  • 2016 Des Moines Register Hall of Fame inductee

800 CLUB

  • 1-of-3 active Division I head coaches to win 875+ games
  • 1-of-10 women’s coaches to win 875+ contests
  • 1-of-24 coaches (men or women) to win 850+ games

STUDENT-ATHLETE AWARDS 

  • Mentored 26 student-athletes to 65 All-Big Ten honors, including 26 first team picks, 21 second, 11 third, and 10 honorable mention selections
  • Has had three Big Ten Players of the Year (Megan Gustafson, 2018, 2019, Kathleen Doyle 2020 and Caitlin Clark 2022, 2023, 2024), three Big Ten Freshman of the Year award winners (Megan Skouby, 2006, Jaime Printy, 2010, and Caitlin Clark, 2021), three Big Ten Sixth Player of the Year recipients, 12 members of the Big Ten All-Freshman team, and three players named to the Big Ten All-Defensive team, with Kachine Alexander earning the honor twice.
  • Guided 10 players to a total of 16 WBCA All-Region Team accolades
  • Led 10 players to a total of 16 All-America honors (including honorable mention honors)

BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIPS

  • Bluder coached the 2023-24 Hawkeyes to her fifth Big Ten Tournament title with wins over Penn State, Michigan, and Nebraska. Iowa is the fourth team in conference history to win three straight Big Ten Tournament titles. (Maryland, Ohio State and Purdue)
  • In 2022-23, Hawkeyes to her fourth Big Ten Tournament title with wins over Purdue, Maryland, and Ohio State. Iowa offense exploded for 105 points which is the most in Big Ten Tournament title history.
  • In 2021-22, Hawkeyes to Iowa’s first Big Ten regular-season title and Big Ten Tournament Championship in the same season.
  • She led the 2018-19 team to its first Big Ten Tournament title since her first season (2001) with wins over Indiana, Rutgers, and No. 8 Maryland. The Hawkeyes finished second in the Big Ten regular season. 
  • In 2008, Iowa won a share of the Big Ten regular season championship, it’s ninth in school history. The Hawkeyes won a Big Ten-season-best, eight-straight games during league play. 
  • In Bluder’s first year at Iowa, the 2000-01 Hawkeyes finished second in the Big Ten. The Hawkeyes knocked off Indiana, Illinois, and Purdue to win the first Big Ten Tournament crown under Bluder.

IN THE CLASSROOM

  • Student-athletes have been named Academic All-Big Ten 146 times, including a program-best 11 honorees in 2023.
  • Caitlin Clark was named the CSC Academic All-American of the Year in 2023.
  • Ally Disterhoft (2013-17) was named the CoSIDA Academic All-American of the Year in consecutive seasons (2016 and 2017).
  • Disterhoft was the fifth scholar-athlete to win the prestigious award in back-to-back years since its inception in 1987-88 and the second Big Ten athlete to accomplish the feat.
  • Disterhoft became Iowa’s first three-time Academic All-American (2015-3rd team, 2016-1st team, 2017-1st team).
  • Lindsey Meder was the first two-time Academic All-American (2001 and 2002)
  • Caitlin Clark earned Academic All-America honors in 2022
  • Samantha Logic earned Academic All-American distinction in 2015
  • In 2015, Iowa was the only DI women’s basketball team to have two student-athletes honored (Disterhoft, Logic)

THE RISE OF CAITLIN CLARK

  • In her senior season, Clark was crowned again as a consensus 2024 National Player of the Year along with unanimous first team All-Big Ten honors, Big Ten Tournament MVP, and Big Ten All-Tournament Team honors.
  • Clark was named the 2024 Nancy Lieberman Point Guard of the Year.
  • She also earned 2024 Wooden Award All-America, first team AP All-America, USBWA All-America, WBCA All-America and All-Region accolades
  • In her junior season, Clark was crowned as a consensus National Player of the Year along with unanimous first team All-Big Ten honors, Big Ten Tournament MVP, and Big Ten All-Tournament Team honors
  • Clark was named the Nancy Lieberman Point Guard of the Year and was the Dawn Staley Guard of the Year Award recipient – the first student-athlete to win the Dawn Staley Award in three consecutive seasons
  • She also earned Wooden Award All-America, first team AP All-America, USBWA All-America, WBCA All-America and All-Region accolades
  • Clark helped lead the Hawkeyes to their first National Championship appearance in program history with a 40-point triple-double over No. 1 South Carolina in the National Semifinals
  • Clark ended her junior season as the first player in Division I women’s basketball history to record more than 1,000 points and 300 assists in the same season. Additionally, Clark had 191 points and 60 assists in the 2023 NCAA Tournament where the Hawkeyes defeated, SE Louisiana, Georgia, Colorado, Louisville, and South Carolina before falling to LSU.
  • She broke the single season Big Ten record for most points and assists in the same season and recorded five triple-doubles.
  • As a sophomore Clark was named Big Ten Player of the Year and earned unanimous first team All-Big Ten honors and added Big Ten Tournament MVP and Big Ten All-Tournament Team honors
  • Clark was named the Nancy Lieberman Point Guard of the Year and was the Dawn Staley Guard of the Year Award recipient – the first student-athlete to win the Dawn Staley Award in consecutive seasons as well as a finalist for the Naismith Award, WBCA Wade Trophy, John R. Wooden Award and Honda Sport Award
  • Earned Wooden Award All-America, first team AP All-America, USBWA All-America, WBCA All-America and All-Region accolades
  • Named first team CoSIDA Academic All-America
  • Finished sophomore season leading the country in assists per game (8.0), points per game (27.0), final points (863), free throws made (200), triple-doubles (5) and 30-point games (11) and ranked second in total assists (257), third in field goals made (286), fourth in free-throw attempts (227), 12th in 3-pointers made (91), 14th in 3-pointers per game (2.84), 18th in double-doubles (17) and free-throw percentage (88.1) and 19th in defensive rebounds per game (7.6)
  • Clark’s freshman season was capped off with being named WBCA Co-Freshman of the Year (March 30), The Athletic’s Co-Freshman of the Year (March 25), a Dawn Staley Award Finalists (March 7), to The Athletic All-America Team (March 25), and to the WBCA All-Region Team (March 24). She earned USBWA Tamika Catchings National Freshman of the Week (Jan. 5, Feb. 17, Feb. 23, and March 2), NCAA Starting Five (Dec. 9, Dec. 30, Feb. 17, March 3), and ESPN National Player of the Week (Dec. 14) honors — the first Big Ten freshman to earn the award.
  • During her freshman campaign, Clark averaged 26.6 points, 7.1 assists, and 5.9 rebounds per game in 30 games, setting the Iowa freshman record with 26.6 points per game (men’s or women’s), recording the fourth-highest points per game in single-season in Iowa history (men’s or women’s), and was the 2020-21 NCAA Division I scoring leader (men’s or women’s).

THE RISE OF MEGAN GUSTAFSON 

  • First Consensus National Player of the Year in conference history, winning ESPNW National Player of the Year, AP Player of the Year, Naismith Trophy, and USBWA Player of the Year (Ann Meyers Drysdale Trophy).
  • 2019 Big Ten Athlete of the Year and Big Ten Women’s Basketball Player of the Year
  • Honda Sport Award Winner for Women’s Basketball
  • Top-3 Finalist for the Honda Cup
  • Lisa Leslie Award Winner and Senior CLASS Award Winner
  • Consensus First Team All-American
  • Wade Trophy Finalist, John R. Wooden Award Finalist, Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Semifinalist
  • Unanimous First Team All-Big Ten Selection (Coaches & Media) as a senior (three-time All-Big Ten honoree; 2018, 2019
  • Big Ten Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player
  • Big Ten’s All-Time Leading Rebounder
  • Iowa’s All-Time leading scorer and rebounder
  • 23 career Big Ten Player of the Week Awards – a Big Ten record
  • 13-time Big Ten Player of the Week during the 2018-19 season – a Big Ten record
  • Led the nation in five categories, including points per game (27.8), field goal percentage (69.6), total points (1,001), field goals made (412), and double-doubles (33). Ranked second in defensive rebounds per game (11), and third in rebounds per game (13.4) and total rebounds (481).
  • Became the fourth NCAA women’s basketball student-athlete and first ever post player to score 1,000 or more points in a single season
  • Academic All-Big Ten
  • NCAA Records
    • 33 double-doubles in a single-season (ties record)
    • Ranks fourth in career double-doubles (88)
    • Ranks fifth in NCAA History in field goal percentage (.656)
    • Ranks 14th all-time in rebounds (1,460) 
  • Big Ten Records
    • Single Season
      • Rebounds (481)
      • Field goal percentage (.696)
      • Field goals made (412)
      • Double-doubles (33)
    • Career
      • Rebounds (1,460)
      • Field goal percentage (.656)
      • Double-doubles (88) 
  • Iowa Records
    • Single Season
      • Rebounds (481)
      • Double-doubles (33)
      • Field goal percentage (.696)
    • Career
      • Rebounds (1,460)
      • Double-doubles (88)
  • In 2018, junior Megan Gustafson was named an All-American by seven outlets, including Sports Illustrated (first team), the Associated Press (second team), USBWA (second team), College Sports Madness (second team), USA Today (second team), ESPNW (third team), and WBCA (honorable mention)
  • Named the 2018 Big Ten Player of the Year (Media)
  • 4-time College Sports Madness Player of the Week during the 2017-18 season
  • Only player in the country that averaged over 25 points in 2018
  • Only player in the country that shot over 67 percent from the field in 2018

FINAL FOUR

  • Iowa clinched its second appearance in the National Title game and became the first program in Big Ten conference history to play for back-to-back titles.
  • UI defeated 16th-seeded Holy Cross, and 8th-seed West Virginia to secure the fourth Sweet 16 for Bluder and her staff.
  • Iowa advanced to the Final Four for the second consecutive season, defeating 5-seed Colorado and 3-Seed LSU.
  • In Cleveland, the Hawkeyes dropped UConn to advance to its second National Title game in program history. Iowa ultimately fell to the No. 1 overall seed, South Carolina to finish runner-up nationally.
  • The Hawkeyes clinched their first appearance to the National Championship game and its first Final Four since 1993 during the 2022-23 season; its first Final Four appearance in the Lisa Bluder Era.
  • Iowa defeated 15th-seeded SE Louisiana (95-43) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament before defeating 10th-seeded Georgia (74-66) in the second round to secure the third Sweet Sixteen berth for Bluder and her staff.
  • The Hawkeyes advanced to the Final Four with a 87-77 win over 6th-seeded Colorado, and 5th-seeded Louisville (97-83) in the Seattle Regional Final.
  • In the National Semifinal game, Iowa upset top seeded South Carolina, 77-73, before being beat by LSU in the National Title game.

ELITE EIGHT

  • Iowa clinched its fourth appearance to the Elite Eight and its first since 1993 during the 2018-19 season; its first Elite Eight appearance in the Lisa Bluder Era. Iowa has returned to the Elite Eight two times since. (2023, 2024)
  • Iowa defeated 15th-seeded Mercer (66-61) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament before defeating 7th-seeded Missouri (68-52) in the second round to secure the second Sweet Sixteen berth for Bluder and her staff.
  • The Hawkeyes advanced to the Elite Eight with a 79-61 win over NC State, before being knocked out by 2019 NCAA Champions, Baylor.

SWEET SIXTEEN

  • Bluder guided the Hawkeyes to their sixth Sweet Sixteen appearance in program history and the first since 1996 in 2015 and has returned four times since (2019, 2021, 2023, 2024).
  • Iowa defeated 14th-seeded American (75-67) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament before defeating 11th-seeded Miami (88-70) in the second round to secure the Sweet Sixteen berth at home on Mediacom Court in Carver-Hawkeye Arena
  • It marked the first Sweet Sixteen appearance for Bluder and her staff
  • Iowa finished the season with a 26-8 overall record, a runner-up finish in the Big Ten Conference with a 14-4 mark, and a No. 11 nationally ranking in the USA Today Top-25 Coaches’ Poll – the highest for the program since 1995-96 (No. 7 in AP, No. 9 in USA Today)
  • Iowa was one of 13 teams nationally to finish undefeated at home with an 18-0 mark, setting a program record for wins at home in a single season

CONSENSUS ALL-AMERICANS

Kathleen Doyle

  • Earned consensus All-America status with nods from Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), United States Basketball Writers Association (WSBWA), and Associated Press (AP).
  • Finished senior season in the top-50 nationally in five statistical categories, including sixth in the nation in total assists (189), seventh in assists per game (6.3), 19th in free throws made (147), 37th in total points (544), and 49th in points per game (18.1). She led the Big Ten in total assists and assists per game and ranked third in free throws attempted (186) and free-throws made.

Samantha Logic (2011-15)

  • Named a WBCA Division I Coaches All-American, USBWA All-American, ESPN Second Team All-American, and Third Team Association Press All-American.
  • Logic was the only player in NCAA History to accumulate at least 1,500 career points, 800 rebounds, 800 assists, and 200 steals
  • Was 1-of-12 players in the country to be invited to the 2015 WNBA Draft
  • Selected with the 10th pick in the first round by the Atlanta Dream and was later traded to the San Antonio Stars
  • The second first round draft pick in Hawkeye history, joining Toni Foster (1997, Phoenix Mercury, 8th Pick)

TEAM USA COACHING EXPERIENCE

  • Following the 2014-15 season, Bluder was named head coach of the U.S. Pan American Women’s Basketball Team
  • Bluder led the Red, White, and Blue to four consecutive victories over Brazil, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Cuba before falling to host-Canada in the gold medal game
  • Team USA earned its fifth silver medal at the games, rebounding from a seventh-place finish in 2011
  • USA Basketball head coach Debbie Ryan chose Bluder as a USA assistant coach at the 2001 World University Games in Beijing, China. Team USA won the gold, defeating China 87-69. Team USA finished the games with a 7-1 mark

PLAYING PROFESSIONALLY 

  • 20 former Hawkeyes under Bluder continued their playing careers professionally after graduation
  • Caitlin Clark was selected as the No. 1 overall pick by the Indiana Fever in 2024 WNBA Draft
  • Kate Martin was picked in the Second Round of the 2024 WNBA Draft by the Las Vegas Aces
  • Monika Czinano was selected by the LA Sparks in the Third Round of the WNBA Draft
  • Kathleen Doyle was selected by the Indiana Fever as the 14th overall pick in the 2020 WNBA Draft
  • Megan Gustafson was selected by the Dallas Wings with the 17th overall pick in the WNBA Draft in 2019
  • Cara Consuegra, Lindsey Meder, Crystal Smith, Kachine Alexander, Samantha Logic, Megan Gustafson and Kathleen Doyle all played in the WNBA
  • Melissa Dixon, Smith, Alexander, Logic, Bethany Doolittle, Johanna Solverson, Kristi Smith, Megan Skouby, JoAnn Hamlin, Trisha Nesbitt, Morgan Johnson, Theairra Taylor, Gustafson and Doyle also played professionally in Europe
  • Hannah Stewart signed a contract with the Lakeside Lightning based in North Lake, Australia

BLUDER COACHING TREE

  • During Bluder’s tenure at Iowa, eight former players have gone on to become coaches at the collegiate level
  • Cara Consuegra (Charlotte) and Jennie (Lillis) Baranczyk (Oklahoma) are currently Division I head coaches
  • Randi (Peterson) Henderson is the head coach at Division III Washington University (St. Louis)
  • Kachine Alexander is an assistant at Florida Atlantic University
  • Wendy (Ausdemore) Lausen served as an assistant at Coe for one season
  • Abby (Emmert) Stamp is an assistant coach
  • Tania Davis was named assistant coach at Iowa in 2023

HEAD HAWKEYE

  • Bluder, alongside her husband David and daughter Hannah, was introduced as the Hawkeyes’ fifth head coach in front of a packed press room in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on April 7, 2000
  • The native of Marion, Iowa, came to Iowa after spending 10 successful seasons at Drake University

BLUDER AT DRAKE 

  • Compiled a 187-106 (.638) record in 10 seasons at Drake
  • Led Drake to five, 20-plus-win seasons in the six years prior to coming to Iowa, including five post-season appearances
  • Guided the Bulldogs to eight Missouri Valley Conference Tournament appearances, reaching the semifinals six times and winning the tournament four times
  • Named the Conference Coach of the Year three times
  • Coached two Academic All-America Players of the Year in current Hawkeye associate head coach Jan Jensen (1991) and Tricia Wakely (1996)
  • Bulldogs ranked fourth in 1995 graduation rate success among teams ranked in the USA Today/CNN Final Top-25 Coaches’ Poll

BLUDER AT ST. AMBROSE 

  • Compiled a 169-36 (.824) record in six seasons at NAIA St. Ambrose University
  • Guided the Bees to four straight national tournaments, including two consecutive Final Four appearances
  • 1990 St. Ambrose team was ranked No. 1
  • Named 1990 NAIA Converse Coach of the Year
  • Inducted into the St. Ambrose Hall of Fame in 2010

PERSONAL

  • Graduate of Linn-Mar High School in Marion, Iowa
  • Inducted into the Linn-Mar Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008
  • Bluder was a three-year starter at Northern Iowa
  • Inducted into the Northern Iowa Hall of Fame in 2000
  • Graduated from UNI in 1983 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing
  • Bluder and her husband, David, have two daughters, Hannah and Emma, and one son, David