Aug. 28, 2008
IOWA CITY — University of Iowa Director of Athletics Gary Barta announced today that Coach Lisa Bluder has signed a contract extension that will run through the 2013 basketball season.
“Lisa has done an outstanding job in her first eight years and I’m enthusiastic about the future of Iowa women’s basketball,” said Barta. “Coach Bluder and her staff are proven winners over a long period of time. I appreciate Lisa’s value system and her commitment to education. She is a good fit for the Iowa Hawkeyes.”
Bluder’s new contract will run through June 30, 2013 and increases her guaranteed annual compensation to approximately $360,000. Additional academic and athletic incentives will offer Bluder opportunities for additional income.
“I feel privileged that Gary (Barta) has entrusted me to lead this program for the next five years,” said Bluder. “I look forward to continuing our success on and off of the floor. I am so proud to be a part of the Hawkeye family.”
The Hawkeyes are coming off one of their best seasons under Bluder. Last season, Iowa won 11 of its last 13 regular season games to claim a share of the Big Ten regular season championship, advanced to the Big Ten Tournament semifinals and competed in the NCAA Tournament. Furthermore, On Feb. 10, Bluder notched her 500th career victory in Iowa’s road win at Penn State. The Marion, IA, native became just the 35th Division I head coach to amass 500 victories.
Iowa’s success a year ago garnered Bluder her second Big Ten and WBCA Region VI Coach of the Year honor. Kristi Smith, Johanna Solverson and Wendy Ausdemore earned all-conference laurels and Megan Skouby was named the Big Ten Sixth Player of the Year. Smith was also recognized as an honorable mention all-American.
Bluder, who is Iowa’s second all-time winningest coach, boasts a 148-98 (.602) record in her eight seasons on the Hawkeye sidelines. The Hawkeyes have advanced to post-season play seven of the eight years under Bluder’s direction, including five NCAA Tournament appearances. In 2001, Bluder and the Hawkeyes won the 2001 Big Ten Tournament. She was named Big Ten Coach of the Year, Women’s Basketball Coaches Association’s District VI Coach of the Year and Women’s Basketball News Service’s College Coach of the Year.
The dean of the Big Ten women’s coaches has guided the Black and Gold to five first division finishes in the Big Ten Conference. Furthermore, she has mentored the Hawkeyes to three 20-plus-win seasons during her eight-year tenure. Bluder has coached four honorable mention WBCA all-Americans; six were named all-Big Ten first team and four each to the second and third teams. Three players have been named all-freshman, including a Freshman of the Year (Skouby).
While on the Iowa sidelines, her student-athletes have been named academic all-Big Ten 35 times by a total of 15 players. In 2004, a team record eight student-athletes were named academic all-Big Ten. Additionally, Lindsey Meder was a two-time Academic all-American (2001, 2002). Student-athletes under Coach Bluder have a 100 percent job placement following their career, and all of her recruited athletes have earned degrees.
As a team, Iowa has ranked in the top ten nationally in 3-point accuracy the last two years and rated in the top ten in assists and free throw percentage two of the last three seasons. Additionally, the Hawkeyes have ranked in the top-half of the Big Ten Conference in scoring and assists every season Bluder has been at Iowa. Five of Iowa’s top seven single-season assist averages and free throw percentages have come under Bluder.