|Role:||Head Coach of the USA Women's Basketball Team for the Pan Am Games 2015|
Lisa Bluder (University of Iowa), who previously helped lead the USA to gold as an assistant coach for the 2001 USA World University Games Team, was announced as head coach of the U.S. Women’s Basketball Team for the 2015 Pan American Games on March 31, 2015.
In her first experience with USA Basketball, she aided the USA to a 7-1 finish and a gold medal, including a final victory over host China to win the gold medal.
“It is an honor to be selected to coach a USA Basketball team,” Bluder said. “I had such a wonderful experience as an assistant coach for the World University Games, and I am looking forward to working with our elite athletes in the Pan American Games. I don’t think there is anything more meaningful than representing your country, and to do it by virtue of coaching the game I love is remarkable.
“I am looking forward to working with and learning from two highly successful coaches,” Bluder added. “Both Michelle (Clark-Heard) and Scott (Rueck) are not only winners, but have high integrity and will represent our nation with class. One of the things that I enjoyed about my first experience with USA basketball was learning from other coaches. I know that I will benefit from their experience and knowledge.”
The all-time winningest coach in Iowa women’s basketball history, Bluder recently completed her 15th season (2000-01 to present) as the Hawkeyes head mentor, where she has compiled a career record of 304-174 (all records as of March 31).
In her 31 years overall as a head coach, she owns a mark of 660-316.
Bluder has led Iowa to 14 postseason appearances and eight NCAA Tournaments over the past eight seasons.
Iowa entered the 2015 NCAA tournament as a No. 3 seed and recorded wins over American University and the University of Miami to reach the Sweet 16, before falling to Baylor University to finish the season 26-8.
On Feb. 10, 2014, she surpassed Hall of Famer C. Vivian Stringer (269 wins) as the all-time winningest coach in program history.
Bluder, one-of-nine active major college coaches with 600 or more wins, 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 13 of her 14 years at Iowa.
She has coached numerous players to different awards in her 14 years in Iowa City. She has mentored 19 players to 40 All-Big Ten honors, including 11 first-team picks, 11 second, 11 third and seven honorable mention selections. She has had two Big Ten Freshman of the Year award winners, two Big Ten Sixth Player of the Year recipients, six members of the Big Ten All-Freshman team and three players named to the Big Ten All-Defensive team, with Kachine Alexander earning the honor twice.
Five players during Bluder’s tenure have earned a total of six WBCA all-region team accolades and six players have earned a total of 11 All-America honorable mentions.
With Bluder on the Iowa sidelines, student-athletes have been named Academic All-Big Ten 67 times, including a program-best eight honorees in 2011 and 2012.
The Hawkeyes finished the 2013-14 campaign with an overall record of 27-9 and were No. 19 in the postseason AP Top 25 Poll. The 27 victories equaled the second-highest total in program history, and the most since 1996. In addition, Iowa’s 14 home wins equaled the second-highest single-season total in school history. Iowa was a No. 6 seed in the NCAA Tournament, defeated Marist in the first round.
Iowa finished 2012-13 with a 21-13 record. The squad faced 11 ranked teams during the season, marking the most games played against ranked opponents in Iowa history, and came away with seven wins, tying the school record for wins over ranked opponents, along with setting school records in team assists (534) and rebounds (1,303).
Iowa closed the regular season with eight-straight wins in 2011-12, securing a second place finish in the Big Ten and an NCAA Tournament berth.
Bluder in 2010-11 led Iowa to a 22-9 overall record, which was the best for an Iowa team since 1995-96. The Hawkeyes were nationally ranked for 14 weeks during the season, reaching No. 14 in the AP Poll and No. 13 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll.
In 2009-10, Bluder led one of the youngest teams in the country to a third-place finish in the Big Ten and the championship game of the Big Ten Tournament. The Hawkeyes knocked off Rutgers in the first round of the NCAA Tournament before falling to eventual runner-up Stanford. Iowa finished 2009-10 with 20-14 tally.
Bluder guided the Hawkeyes to back-to-back 21-11 overall records during 2007-08 and 2008-09. Iowa won a share of the Big Ten regular season championship in 2008 and finished in a three-way tie for second in 2009. The Hawkeyes boasted a 26-5 home record during the two-year stretch and twice appeared in the NCAA Tournament.
In 2005-06, Bluder guided her group to a 17-12 overall record and an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament.
She mentored Iowa to a 23-10 record and advanced to the WNIT Final Four in 2004-05 after starting the season 13-0.
In 2003-04, Bluder and the Hawkeyes finished 16-13 while playing the 14th most difficult schedule in the nation. Eight of its 16 victories came on the road, marking the most road wins by a Hawkeye team since the 1993-94 season.
Bluder helped her third Iowa team to an exciting run in the Big Ten Tournament and WNIT in 2002-03. In the quarterfinals of the conference tournament, Iowa upset Minnesota and then went on to record wins over Saint Louis and Marquette in the WNIT before falling to Creighton.
In 2001-02, Bluder coached the Hawkeyes to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for a second-straight year, and Iowa finished with an 18-11 record.
In her first season, Bluder transformed a struggling Iowa program into a 21-game winner. After winning the 2001 Big Ten Tournament, the Hawkeyes advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Hawkeyes finished with a 21-10 record, a second-place finish in the conference regular season and a Big Ten Tournament title.
During her tenure at Iowa, five players have gone on to become coaches at the collegiate level, and 11 of her former players continued playing professionally after graduation.
Bluder, was introduced as the Hawkeyes’ fifth head coach on April 7, 2000. The native of Marion, Iowa, came to Iowa after spending 10 successful seasons at Drake University.
Bluder compiled a 187-106 (.638) record at Drake (1990-91 through 1999-00) and a 165-36 (.824) record in six seasons at NAIA St. Ambrose University.
As the Drake University women’s basketball coach, Bluder led the program to five 20-plus-win seasons in six years, including five postseason appearances. She guided the Bulldogs to eight Missouri Valley Conference tournaments, winning the tournament four times (1998, and she was named the Conference Coach of the Year three times (1997, 1998, ).
Bluder began her coaching career at St. Ambrose University, where she coached six seasons building the Bees into a NAIA powerhouse. During her tenure at St. Ambrose, Bluder guided the Bees to four-straight national tournaments, including consecutive Final Four appearances. The 1990 St. Ambrose team was ranked No. 1 and Bluder was named the NAIA Converse Coach of the Year.
While at Drake, she coached two Academic All-America Players of the Year in current Hawkeye associate head coach Jan Jensen (1991) and Tricia Wakely (1996).
Student-athletes who played under Bluder and completed their eligibility have a 100 percent job placement following their career, and all of them earned degrees.
During the summer of 2003, Bluder was elected Division I Midwest Representative of the WBCA Board of Directors. She also served on the WBCA Kodak All-American selection committee for four terms and the Midwest Regional Advisory Committee for the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championships.
A graduate of Linn-Mar High School in Marion, Iowa, Bluder was a three-year starter as a basketball player at the University of Northern Iowa. She graduated from UNI in 1983 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing.
On Sept. 4, 2008, Bluder was inducted to the Linn-Mar Athletic Hall of Fame. She also has been inducted into the Northern Iowa and St. Ambrose Halls of Fame.
Bluder and her husband David have two daughters, Hannah (17) and Emma (14), and one son, David (12).
SOURCE: USA Basketball