Lisa Bluder

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Lisa Bluder
Sport(s) Women's Basketball
Current position
Title Head coach
Team Iowa
Conference Big Ten
Record 343–201 (.631)
Biographical details
Born (1961-04-16) April 16, 1961 (age 56)
Appleton, Wisconsin
Playing career
1979–1983 Northern Iowa
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1984–1990 St. Ambrose
1990–2000 Drake
2000–present Iowa
Head coaching record
Overall 700–342 (.672)

Lisa Bluder (born April 16, 1961)[1] is the head coach for the Iowa Hawkeyes women's basketball program. She is an alumna of the University of Northern Iowa, 1983 and Linn-Mar High School, 1979.

Coaching career[edit]

St. Ambrose University[edit]

She began her coaching career at St. Ambrose University, where she coached six successful seasons building the Bees into an NAIA powerhouse. During her tenure at St. Ambrose, she recorded a 169-36 (.824) mark and guided the Bees to four straight national tournaments, including two consecutive Final Four appearances. The 1990 St. Ambrose team was ranked No. 1 and she was named the NAIA Converse Coach of the Year.

Drake University[edit]

Bluder has compiled a 187-106 (.638) record at Drake in 10 seasons and a 169-36 (.824) record in six seasons at NAIA St. Ambrose University. She currently sits 39th in career winning percentage (.692) for Division I active coaches.

She is also committed to her team's academic success. She coached two Academic All-America Players of the Year in current Hawkeye Associate Head Coach Jan Jensen (1991) and Tricia Wakely (1996). As a team, the Bulldogs ranked fourth in 1995 graduation rate success among teams ranked in the USA Today/CNN final top-25 Coaches' Poll. In 2004 and 2012, a team record eight student athletes were named to the academic all-Big Ten team. Student athletes who have played under her have a 100 percent job placement following their career, and all of her recruited athletes have earned their degree.

University of Iowa[edit]

Bluder, alongside her husband David and daughter Hannah, was introduced as the Hawkeyes' fifth head coach in front of a packed press room in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on April 7, 2000. The native of Marion, IA, came to Iowa after spending 10 successful seasons at Drake University.

Bluder is in her 15th season as head women's basketball coach at the University of Iowa. Under her direction, the Hawkeyes have advanced to postseason play in 14 of 15 seasons (12 NCAA and 2 WNIT). Bluder is the dean of Big Ten coaches and has posted a 304-173 record at Iowa and her 31-year record stands at 660-315. Her 304 wins at Iowa are the most of any Hawkeye women's basketball coach, passing Hall of Famer C. Vivian Stringer (269 wins).

Bluder is a three-time Big Ten Coach of the Year (2001, 2008 and 2010) and two-time WBCA Regional Coach of the Year (2001 and 2008). She has guided Iowa to a winning record in 14 of her 15 years at Iowa, including 11 upper-division finishes in the challenging Big Ten Conference. Bluder has led Iowa to nine 20-win seasons in her 15 years, including the last three years in a row.

Bluder had one of her most successful seasons in 2010-11, leading Iowa to a 22-9 overall record and a third place finish in the Big Ten at 10-6. Iowa's overall win/loss record in 2010-11 was the best for an Iowa team since the 1995-96 campaign. The Hawkeyes were nationally ranked for 14 weeks during the season, reaching No. 14 in the Associated Press Poll and No. 13 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. Iowa received an at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament for the fourth-straight season.

Career milestones[edit]

She has reached five coaching milestones while coaching Iowa. During her first season, she collected her 200th victory at the Division I level when the Hawkeyes defeated Minnesota. She garnered win No. 300 at the Division I level with Iowa's regular season finale win over Indiana in 2006. During her third season, she captured career win No. 400 in Iowa's triumph over Iowa State and victory No. 450 when Iowa topped Creighton in the first round of the WNIT. During the '07-'08 season her Hawkeyes defeated Penn State on February 10 to give Coach Bluder career win No. 500. When Iowa beat Purdue on January 20, 2013 Coach Bluder made that her Career win No. 600.[2]

USA Basketball[edit]

Bluder was the head coach of the U.S.A. women's basketball team at the 2015 Pan American Games. The event was held in Toronto, Canada from July 16-20, 2015. Bluder's USA team had a strong roster, including 2015 All-Americans Breanna Stewart, Moriah Jefferson, and Tiffany Mitchell.[3] The USA team secured a 75-69 win over Brazil in its opening game, followed by a lopsided 94-55 win over Dominican Republic in the second round. In its final preliminary round game, the USA outscored Puerto Rico 93-77 to secure a number one seed heading into the medal semifinals. Bluder's team survived a close semi-final game against Cuba with a 65-64 win that advanced the USA into the gold medal game. The USA team led Canada in the championship game by as much as 11 points early on, but a strong third quarter by Canada gave them the lead, and an eventual 81-73 win over the USA women. Bluder and her team returned home from Toronto with a silver medal.[4]

Bluder served as an assistant coach of the USA representative to the 1999 World University Games (also known as the Universiade). The event was held in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. The USA team opened with a 134–37 win over South Africa. The second game was against Canada, which the USA team lost in a close match 68–67. The USA could not afford to lose another game if they wished to win a medal, and won the next game against Japan 106–66. The USA next faced undefeated Russia, and fell behind by twelve points at halftime, but came back and won the game 79–68. The USA fell behind in their next game against undefeated China, but rallied and went on to win 89–78. The USA then beat Brazil to advance to the semi-final, where they faced Lithuania. The game was not close, with the USA winning 70–49. That set up a rematch with China, on their home court with 18,000 spectators. The USA only had a four point lead at halftime, but did better in the second half, and won 87–69 to claim the gold medal. Ayana Walker set a World University Games record with 19 rebounds in the game. Walker was the leading scorer and rebounder for the USA team with 15.4 points and 8.6 rebounds per game.[5]

Head coaching record[edit]

Drake was awarded a forfeit victory over Valparaiso during the 1995–96 season due to Valparaiso's use of an ineligible player. Drake originally lost that game 79–80.[6] Drake recognizes that game as a victory, but the NCAA does not, thus the NCAA statistics database includes a record of 15–4 for that year.[7][8]

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
St. Ambrose () (1984–1990)
1984–85 St. Ambrose 18–13
1985–86 St. Ambrose 20–12
1986–87 St. Ambrose 29–3
1987–88 St. Ambrose 32–5
1988–89 St. Ambrose 36–2
1989–90 St. Ambrose 34–1
St. Ambrose: 169–36 (.824)
Drake Bulldogs (Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference) (1990–1993)
1990–91 Drake 13–17 10–8 4th
1991–92 Drake 11–15 7–11 T–6th
1992–93 Drake 15–13 8–8 T–4th
Drake: 39-45 (.464) 25–27 (.481)
Drake Bulldogs (Missouri Valley Conference) (1993–2000)
1993–94 Drake 16–12 8–8 5th
1994–95 Drake 25–6 13–5 T–2nd NCAA Second Round
1995–96 Drake 16–13 10–8 T–4th
1996–97 Drake 23–7 14–4 1st NCAA First Round
1997–98 Drake 25–5 17–1 1st NCAA First Round
1998–99 Drake 21–10 14–4 2nd WNIT Semifinals
1999–00 Drake 23–7 15–3 1st NCAA First Round
Drake: 188–105 (.642) 91–33 (.734)
Iowa Hawkeyes (Big Ten Conference) (2000–present)
2000–01 Iowa 21–10 12–4 2nd NCAA Second Round
2001–02 Iowa 18–11 10–6 4th NCAA Second Round
2002–03 Iowa 18–15 6–10 7th WNIT Third Round
2003–04 Iowa 16–13 10–6 T–4th WNIT First Round
2004–05 Iowa 23–10 8–8 6th WNIT Semifinals
2005–06 Iowa 17–12 10–6 5th NCAA First Round
2006–07 Iowa 14–16 6–10 9th
2007–08 Iowa 21–11 13–5 T–1st NCAA First Round
2008–09 Iowa 21–11 13–5 T–2nd NCAA First Round
2009–10 Iowa 20–14 10–8 3rd NCAA Second Round
2010–11 Iowa 22–9 10–6 3rd NCAA First Round
2011–12 Iowa 19–12 11–5 T–2nd NCAA First Round
2012–13 Iowa 21–13 8–8 7th NCAA Second Round
2013–14 Iowa 27–9 11–5 T–4th NCAA Second Round
2014–15 Iowa 26–8 14–4 2nd NCAA Sweet Sixteen
2015–16 Iowa 19–14 8–10 T–9th WNIT First Round
2016–17 Iowa 20–13 8–8 T–8th WNIT Quarterfinals
Iowa: 343–201 (.631) 168–114 (.596)
Total: 700–342 (.672)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion


  1. ^ "Women's Basketball Coaches Career". NCAA. Retrieved 24 Sep 2015. 
  2. ^ "Aggressiveness+Confidence=Milestone". Jan 20, 2013. Retrieved 22 May 2013. 
  3. ^ "Stewart, Loyd top All-America team". ESPN. Retrieved 16 April 2016. 
  4. ^ "Seventeenth Pan American Games - 2015". USA Basketball. Retrieved 16 April 2016. 
  5. ^ "TWENTIETH WORLD UNIVERSITY GAMES -- 2001". USA Basketball. Retrieved 22 May 2013. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Final 1996 Division I Women's Basketball Statistics Report" (PDF). Retrieved 1 Sep 2015.  External link in |website= (help)
  8. ^ "Drake Media Guide". Retrieved 1 Sep 2015.