Lisa Bluder announces retirement: What's next for Hawkeyes; Fans react

After 24 years, Iowa Hawkeyes women's basketball coach Lisa Bluder announces her retirement.
LSU v Iowa
LSU v Iowa / Andy Lyons/GettyImages

Monday afternoon, Lisa Bluder announced her retirement as the Iowa Hawkeyes women's basketball head coach. She spent the past 24 seasons at Iowa, winning 533 of her 889 career wins, and seven total Big Ten Championships, five tournaments and two regular season.

Bluder coached the Hawkeyes to 18 NCAA Tournament appearances, with two national championship appearances capping the end of her career.

She also earned Big Ten Coach of the Year three times and was the 2019 Naismith Coach of the Year.

"It has been the honor of my career to be a part of the Iowa Hawkeye family, and to lead a women’s basketball program filled with so many talented and remarkable young women, who have gone on to do great things in their careers and, more importantly, in their lives," Bluder said in a letter to Iowa fans.

"There is never an ideal time to retire and I am sure this fall that I will miss the games, the practices, the road trips, the atmosphere, the tremendous fans and, most importantly, the players. But my belief in the foundation of this program, knowing that success is now an unrelenting component of women’s basketball at the University of Iowa gives me comfort as I transition to become the program’s biggest champion."

Fans and former players reacted to her announcement on social media.

Caitlin Clark responded to the announcement on Instagram saying, "Forever goat. We were so lucky❤️‍🔥"

Iowa will now turn to Jan Jensen as its next women's basketball head coach. Jensen has been on Bluder's staff for her entire run at Iowa.

“I have been so blessed to have enjoyed an incredible ride with Lisa. That ride started when I was her player and continued for 33 years as I had the privilege to work alongside of her. I can’t thank Lisa enough for her mentorship, leadership, and most of all her friendship. I am so proud of all we accomplished and grateful for all the memories we created,” Jensen said in a statement. “I am now beyond elated to begin my new role and want to thank President Wilson and Beth for the opportunity to lead this program. I truly love The University of Iowa and I am profoundly honored and excited to continue building on our success.

The 2024 season will be a strange look without Bluder on the sidelines and Clark on the court. Nonetheless, it appears Iowa athletic director Beth Goetz is putting the program in capable hands. Jansen may not have a Clark on her team, but she will return junior forward Hannah Stuelke and bring in 5-star recruit Addie Deal and former Villanova point guard Lucy Olsen to lead the next squad.

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