The Iowa Hawkeyes women's basketball team didn't make it to the Final Four, but the program continues to haul in hardware in April.
On Saturday, the Atlanta Tip-Off Club announced that Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder had been named the 2019 Werner Ladder Naismith Women’s Coach of the Year.
Bluder led the Hawkeyes to their first Big Ten tournament title since 2001, and their first Elite Eight appearance since 1993. The Hawkeyes, led on the court by senior Megan Gustafson, went 29-7 this season. The Hawkeyes fell in the Greensboro Regional Final to the Baylor Lady Bears.
A native of Wisconsin, Bluder has been coaching at Iowa since 2000 and has led the Hawkeyes to 14 NCAA tournament appearances.
Before taking over at Iowa, Bluder coached at Drake University and NAIA St. Ambrose.
The other finalists for the award were Baylor's Kim Mulkey, N.C. State's Wes Moore and Mississippi State's Vic Schaefer. Bluder is the first woman to win the award since 2015, when it was given to Courtney Banghart of Princeton.
The four finalists were chosen by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s national voting academy, comprised of leading journalists from around the country, current and former head coaches, former award winners and conference commissioners, all of whom base their selections on outstanding coaching performances during the 2018-19 college basketball season. The vote was tabulated and certified by Aprio, a premier, CPA-led business advisory firm.