IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder has been named one of four finalists for the 2019 Werner Ladder Naismith Women’s College Coach of the Year, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Thursday.
North Carolina State’s Wes Moore, Baylor’s Kim Mulkey, and Mississippi State’s Vic Shaefer round out the four finalists.
Bluder has led the Hawkeyes to a 26-6 overall record. Iowa captured its first Big Ten Tournament Title since 2001 on March 10, and earned a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. It marks Iowa’s highest seed since 1996.
In 19 years at the helm, Bluder has led the Hawkeyes to 12, 20-win seasons. The Hawkeyes have won 20 or more games in 10 of the last 12 years.
Iowa is ranked No. 8 in both major polls, marking the highest ranking for the program since 1996. Iowa ranks in the top-10 nationally in five categories. The Hawkeyes lead the country in field goal percentage (51.9), rank second in assists per game (21.9), third in assists (702), fourth in assist/turnover ratio (1.61), and ninth in free throw percentage (77.7).
This year, Bluder has guided senior center Megan Gustafson to national prominence. The ESPNW Player of the Year ranks in the top-four nationally in eight categories. She leads the country in field goal percentage (69.6), points per game (28.0), total points (897), and field goals made (369), ranks second in double-doubles (30) and defensive rebounds per game (10), third in total rebounds (424), and fourth in rebounds per game (13.3).
Bluder looks to become the second Hawkeye head coach to win the Werner Naismith Women’s College Coach of the Year Award. C. Vivian Stringer won the award in 1993.
Beginning March 22, 2019, fans will be able to support their favorite finalist by visiting naismithfanvote.com until April 3, to cast their ballot. The fan vote will account for five percent of the overall final vote. The 2019 Werner Ladder Naismith Women’s College Coach of the Year will be announced on April 6, and the winner will be honored at their school at a later date.
The Hawkeyes open NCAA Tournament action Friday, hosting Mercer at 1 p.m. (CT) in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Tickets to the NCAA First and Second Rounds can be purchased HERE.