The past two seasons for Women’s College Basketball were absolutely incredible. The attention the game received was at an all-time high, and the energy of the games reached new heights too. 

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The players received a lot of the attention, and rightly so. They were the ones playing the game after all. The coaches did get some of the credit, some got more than others.  

Iowa may not have won the National Championship, but the University won in every other category when it comes to attention and money brought in.  

NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament - Final Four Previews
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Yesterday, Iowa's Head Coach Lisa Bluder stepped down from her position. She said that after getting some time away with her husband David, she realized her time had come to change directions. Here is part of her announcement letter to the fans at Iowa. 

Dear Hawkeye Nation: 

It is with a range of emotions that I share with you today that I have decided to step down from leading the Iowa women’s basketball team after 24 memorable years. I informed President Wilson and Director of Athletics Beth Goetz of my decision and I am grateful for their unwavering support and offered them my assistance in any manner in the future. 

It has been the honor of my career to be a part of the Iowa Hawkeye family, and to lead a women’s basketball program filled with so many talented and remarkable young women, who have gone on to do great things in their careers and, more importantly, in their lives. 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. 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. 

There is never an ideal time to retire and I am sure this fall that I will miss the games, the practices, the road trips, the atmosphere, the tremendous fans and, most importantly, the players. But my belief in the foundation of this program, knowing that success is now an unrelenting component of women’s basketball at the University of Iowa gives me comfort as I transition to become the program’s biggest champion. 

I want to thank each and every young woman who believed in our program and in our values for nearly a quarter of a century, and who proudly wore the Black & Gold. 

Bluder not only recruited Caitlyn Clark, but she was able to retain her in a time where players are free to come and go almost as they choose.  

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Combine that with Name, Image and Likeness which has complicated the jobs for Coaching staffs around the country. These coaches must spend as much time re-recruiting their own star players as they do the players they are trying to bring to their campus.  

It’s a job that brings a high level of stress and sacrifice with it. And Lisa Bluder has decided to let someone else have those reigns. 

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We shouldn’t miss the fact that Lisa Bluder held her job for 24 years, again in an industry that is looking for the next great star or championship every year. Having that kind of longevity speaks to the level of coach she was.  

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There’s no doubt that the Women’s game is trying to capitalize on this past season, but there’s also no doubt that Lisa Bluder is one of the main reasons the game is in the position it is in right now. 

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