Lisa Bluder sent shock waves through the state of Iowa on Monday afternoon with her retirement from the Iowa women's basketball team. Just a short time later, another announcement was made that allowed Hawkeye fans breathe a sigh of relief.

Beside Lisa Bluder during her 24-year Hall of Fame run at the University of Iowa has been assistant Jan Jensen. Shortly after Bluder made her retirement official, the University of Iowa made her replacement official.

So who is Jan Jensen? The new Iowa head coach is originally from the small town of Kimballton, Iowa. Her high school team at Elk-Horn Kimballton High School played 6-on-6 basketball, and Jensen was the team's star player. In her senior year, she led the nation in scoring at 66 points per game. She would go on to be inducted into the Iowa Girls Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993.

Jensen played her college basketball at Drake University, and her senior year the team had a new head coach. Her name was Lisa Bluder. Despite early objections, Jensen had an amazing senior season leading Division I women's college basketball in scoring at over 29 points per game. She earned honorable mention All-America honors and earned All Gateway conference honors.

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Jensen would play professionally overseas, and then join Bluder's staff at Drake as a graduate assistant. She would follow Bluder to Iowa in 2000 and became the Hawkeye's associate head coach in 2004. Jensen is often called the 'post whisperer' for her tutelage of Iowa post players. During her time at Iowa, nine post players have earned All-Big Ten honors.

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The Des Moines Register points out that no one is better positioned to take over for Bluder than Jan Jensen. She has passed on head coaching positions to remain at Iowa, and at 55 years of age, has plenty of time for her own long run as Iowa's head coach. Former players spoke out glowingly after Monday's announcement, including Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark.


The Register points out that by keeping Jensen, the momentum of the Iowa program can continue. Current players are more likely to stay and incoming recruits are no doubt familiar with Jensen too. Iowa Atheltic Director Beth Goetz confirmed that the transition to Jensen had been in the works for several days.

Lisa Bluder leaves behind an amazing legacy at Iowa. The Register reports her 884 wins as a coach ranks 10th all-time in women's college basketball history. She led Iowa to its only National Title game appearances in back-to-back seasons. She has won four of the last six Big Ten Tournaments. Last year, she led Iowa to a school record 34 wins.

Thank you coach Bluder, and welcome head coach Jan Jensen! LET'S GO HAWKS! 

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