Lisa Bluder Named Naismith Coach of the Year Finalist

IOWA CITY, Iowa – P. Sue Beckwith Head Iowa Women’s Basketball Coach, Lisa Bluder, was named a finalist for the Naismith Coach of the Year award on Monday the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced. Bluder was a semifinalist a season ago and was the recipient of the award in 2019.

“As we approach the thrilling culmination of this extraordinary college basketball season, we express our profound gratitude for the unwavering commitment and diligence demonstrated by these coaches in steering their teams towards the pinnacle of a national championship,” said Eric Oberman, President of the Atlanta Tipoff Club. “The competition for the prestigious Werner Ladder Naismith Award for Women’s and Men’s College Coach of the Year has been nothing short of exhilarating, underscoring the remarkable achievements of these coaches and their respective programs.”

“Werner Ladder congratulates these remarkable coaches and their teams,” remarked Stacy Gardella, Head of Global Marketing Technology & Operations at WernerCo. “We wish them continued success in their respective tournaments and commend them for their exceptional leadership, which inspires us all.”

The 2024 Werner Ladder Naismith Trophy for Women’s Coach of the Year will be awarded on Wednesday, April 3, at a press conference at the Key Bank Club in the Cleveland Browns Stadium during the Women’s Final Four.

– Her team is a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, and she guided the Hawkeyes to a 30-4 record – their eighth consecutive season with 20 or more victories which is the most since C. Vivian Stringer.
– Iowa has won 30+ games for only the second time in school history. (2022-23)
– Bluder has the 10th most wins in Division-I women’s basketball history and is third among active DI head coaches. (880)
– She has guided Iowa to three straight Big Ten Tournament titles and coached six of the last seven Big Ten Players of the Year.
– This year marks the 14th time in the last 16 seasons her team has advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
– She has the most Big Ten coaching wins in conference history.
– Coached two consensus National Player of the Years.
– Has coached the Hawkeyes to 22 postseason appearances in 24 seasons, including NCAA Tournament berths in 14 of the last 16 seasons.
– She has led UI to the Sweet 16 (2021), Elite Eight (2019), National Championship (2023) in three out of the last four championship seasons. (Covid)

Fans will once again be able to support their favorite finalist through the Naismith Awards Fan Vote presented by Jersey Mike’s, which runs Tuesday, March 26, through Tuesday, April 2, at The fan vote will account for five percent of the overall final vote. Fans may also vote by visiting @naismithtrophy, @MarchMadness and @MarchMadnessWBB Twitter pages to vote for their favorite men’s and women’s coaches.

The four finalists were chosen by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s national voting academy, comprised of leading journalists from around the country, current and former head coaches, former award winners and conference commissioners, all of whom base their selections on outstanding coaching performances during the 2023-24 college basketball season. The vote was tabulated and verified by the Atlanta team of J.S. Held, a global consulting firm.

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Founded during the 1956-57 season, the Atlanta Tipoff Club is committed to promoting the game of basketball and recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of those who make the game so exciting. The Atlanta Tipoff Club administers the Naismith Awards, the most prestigious national honors in all of college and high school basketball. Named in honor of Dr. James Naismith, inventor of the game of basketball, the family of Naismith Awards annually recognizes the most outstanding men’s and women’s college and high school basketball players and coaches. Other Naismith Awards are presented to the men’s and women’s college basketball defensive players of the year, as well as lifetime achievement awards to basketball officials and outstanding contributors to the game. UCLA’s Lew Alcindor received the first Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy in 1969, while the late Anne Donovan (Old Dominion) was the inaugural women’s recipient in 1983. Corporate partners of the Naismith Awards include AXIA Time, Jersey Mike’s and Werner Ladder.

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