Bluder to receive First Lady Award

Lisa Bluder

University of Iowa women’s basketball coach Lisa Bluder has been named the recipient of the Iowa Girls’ High School Athletic Union’s First Lady Award, and will be presented the honor March 3 at the girls’ state basketball tournament.

Bluder is the 13th recipient of the IGHSAU’s most prestigious award, which is given “to a daughter of Iowa — recognizing the million girls of the commonwealth who have carried the tradition and training of a sport into varied and important careers — and for singularly illustrious and most memorable accomplishments,” according to IGHSAU Executive Director Jean Berger.

Lisa (Geske) Bluder starred in 6-on-6 basketball at Linn-Mar High School in the late 1970s and went on to be a three-year starter at Northern Iowa. She took over as head coach at St. Ambrose in 1984 and was named NAIA National Coach of the Year in 1990, helping the Queen Bees reach a pair of Final Fours.

Bluder went on to coach at Drake University from 1990-2000 before becoming the fifth head coach in University of Iowa women’s basketball history, where she’s been for 18 years. She is the school’s all-time winningest coach, has guided the Hawkeyes to eight NCAA Tournament trips, and has been named Big Ten Coach of the Year three times.

“I consider this one of the top honors that I could possibly receive,” said Bluder. “Being an ‘Iowa Girl’ has always been special to me. I am so thankful that I grew up in a state with such a rich tradition of offering girls opportunities to compete in sport. This obviously made a significant impact on my life and career.”