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Retired Iowa Coach Lisa Bluder Serves as Speaker for Awards Gala

ALBANY, NY – Lisa Bluder, who recently retired as the Head Women’s Basketball Coach at the University of Iowa, will serve as the virtual guest speaker at the 2024 Capital District Sports Women of the Year Awards Gala. The event will take place on Monday, August 12, 2024 at the GE Theatre at Proctors in Schenectady, NY and will begin at 7:00 p.m.

The Capital District Sports Women of the Year program (CDSWOY) honors the best and brightest female student-athletes from high schools and colleges in the Capital District of New York State. The student-athletes will be recognized for their achievements in academics, athletics, and community service. Ticket information will be announced later in the month of July. Recipients will be announced throughout June and July at CDSWOY.COM.

“Lisa Bluder is one of the most decorated and successful collegiate women’s basketball coaches in history, and we are so honored to have her serve as a speaker after her recent retirement,” said Eric McDowell, President of CDSWOY, who served as the Press Conference Moderator at the tournament in Albany. “I was fortunate to have met Coach Bluder at the NCAA Sweet 16 & Elite 8 tournament in March. She embodies what CDSWOY stands for, and her development of talented and dedicated young women on and off the court, including the greatest scorer in men and women’s college basketball history, is remarkable. Our honorees will be blessed to hear her passion and words of wisdom for their special evening.”

On May 13, Bluder announced her retirement from coaching after 40 years as a collegiate head coach, including 24 at the University of Iowa.

Among her many accolades, Bluder was named the Naismith Coach of the Year (2019), was a three-time Big Ten Coach of the Year (2001, 2008, 2010), four-time regional coach of the year (2001, 2008, 2018, 2019), and the Carol Eckman Award winner (2015) in addition to being an inductee into the Des Moines Register Hall of Fame (2016), the Quad City Times Hall of Fame (2012), the Linn-Mar Athletic Hall of Fame (2008) and the Northern Iowa Hall of Fame (2000). Bluder amassed 884 career wins, 10th most in NCAA women’s basketball history.

Bluder was named head coach at the University of Iowa in 2000 and retires as the all-time winningest coach in Big Ten history with an overall record of 528-254 and a Big Ten record of 262-145. Under her leadership, the Hawkeyes advanced to the last two National Championship Games and made 22 postseason appearances overall (18 NCAA and 4 WNIT), including 14 of the last 16 NCAA Tournaments. Bluder led the Hawkeyes to five Big Ten Tournament titles, and two shared Big Ten regular season championships.

Under her tutelage, Hawkeye players were named the National Player of the Year three times with two others named consensus All-Americans. Three different players were named the Big Ten Player of the Year and also three different players recognized as Big Ten Freshman of the Year. Sixty-five Hawkeyes earned All-Big Ten honors. Seventeen former Hawkeyes went on to play professionally. In the classroom, her student-athletes were named Academic All-Big Ten more than 150 times, while Ally Disterhoft (2016, 2017) and Caitlin Clark (2023, 2024) were both recognized as the Academic All-American of the Year.

Bluder began her coaching career as head coach at St. Ambrose University for six seasons (1985-90) followed by a 10-year head coaching stint at Drake (1991-2000). Bluder and the Bulldogs won four Missouri Valley Conference Tournament championships (1995, 1997, 1998, 2000) and three regular season titles (1997, 1998, 2000).

Previous CDSWOY virtual guest speakers include Chris Plonsky of the University of Texas, Tara VanDerveer of Stanford University, Olympic Gold Medalist Lindsey Jacobellis, and Jessica Mendoza of ESPN.

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