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Money Keeps Raining for Lisa Bluder as Iowa Coach Earns Exorbitant 6-Figure Cheque for Knocking Kim Mulkey’s LSU Out of March Madness

Published 04/01/2024, 10:40 PM EDT

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USA Today via Reuters

Lisa Bluder signed a contract extension in 2023 and made it count. Her Hawkeyes overthrew the LSU Tigers 94-87, avenging the 2023 embarrassment. For defeating the defending champs in the Elite Eight and advancing forward, the Iowa head coach is set to make a pretty penny. It also crosses the threshold for women coaches in basketball advancing forward and narrowing that pay gap.

As Iowa advances to NCAA women’s Final Four, their coach Lisa Bluder will get a $100,000 bonus to sweeten the victory. According to reports, Bluder’s contract that will keep her through the 2029 season includes a $150,000 raise starting next season. The two-year extension and the raise will add nearly $3.7 million to the current value of her contract, with $2 million guaranteed. Moreover, she’ll make an estimated $310,000 in bonuses this season.

Following the 2023 title and leading the Tigers to the Elite Eight, Kim Mulkey has also deserved to rank on top as the highest-paid women’s coach. She boasts a 10-year contract extension worth $32 million. She gets an annual salary of $3.26 million.

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Another Final Four coach, UConn’s Geno Auriemma is the second highest-paid coach. Blluder, with $1.4 million annually, is eighth. As the Hawkeyes go further, possibly even win the title, she stands to make a lot more.

Lisa Bluder remains invaluable to Iowa

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For 24 years, Bluder has helmed the Iowa Hawkeyes women’s basketball program. She’s the winningest coach in the program’s history with 21 of 23 postseason appearances, 17 NCAA and WNIT appearances. She’s been Big Ten Coach of the Year thrice and is the Naismith National Coach of the Year in 2019. It made sense that the school will extend that to 26 seasons when she led them to Iowa’s title game in 2023 with her star, Caitlin Clark for the first time since 1993.

When Bluder agreed to stay two more seasons in Iowa, the school spruced up her $1 million base salary with a $400,000 supplemental income. She even gets $250,000 longevity bonus. Her biggest support is her staff. Bluder’s contract awards her $30,000 to distribute among her assistants and program staff at her discretion.

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Under her leadership, Clark has made NCAA history with her scoring record. This coach-athlete duo have a real shot at winning the title. No bonus is going to feel better than that victory for Coach Bluder.

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Written by:

Caroline John

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Caroline John is a senior NBA writer at EssentiallySports. She holds a Masters degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from a reputed university. With 8 years of experience in content writing and after judiciously covering the life of Shaquille O’Neal, she even earned an exclusive interview with the CEO of Shaq’s Big Chicken franchise, Josh Halpern.
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Edited by:

Jayant Chhabra