Lisa Bluder, who coached the Iowa women’s basketball team to the last two NCAA championship games, announced Monday that she is retiring after 24 years leading the Hawkeyes. Her longtime assistant, Jan Jensen, was named her successor.

Bluder made the announcement five weeks after Iowa lost to South Carolina in the national title game and superstar Caitlin Clark ended her college career.

“There is no denying that this past season was incredible for so many reasons, and we could not have accomplished our achievements without all of you,” she said in an open letter to fans. “After the season ended, I spent time with our student-athletes and coaches reviewing the season and preparing those moving on for what comes next.

“With that also came personal contemplation about what this journey has meant to me, how to best champion this program, and what the future looks like for my family and me. After then taking some time away with my husband, David, it became clear to me that I am ready to step aside.”

Bluder was 528-254 at Iowa, including 65-12 the past two years with Clark leading the way, and 716-359 including her 10 seasons at Drake.

Jensen was associate head coach under Bluder for 20 years and was with Bluder for a total of 24 years at Iowa and eight at Drake. Jensen played for Bluder at Drake and she said she is elated to begin her new job.

“I have been so blessed to have enjoyed an incredible ride with Lisa,” Jensen said. “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.


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