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UI Awards Contract Extensions to Three Head Coaches

Three head coaches were awarded contract extensions Tuesday.

Three head coaches were awarded contract extensions Tuesday.

June 20, 2006

University of Iowa head coaches Gayle Blevins, Lisa Bluder and Steve Alford have each been awarded one-year contract extensions by UI Director of Athletics Bob Bowlsby it was announced Tuesday.

"These contract extensions and adjustments in compensation reflect our appreciation and our confidence in each of these valued members of our staff," Bowlsby said. "They also reflect our desire to provide the new director of athletics at the UI flexibility moving forward."

Blevins, who recently completed her 19th season as head coach of the UI's softball program by guiding the Hawkeyes to the NCAA Tournament for the 14th time in school history, is now under contract with the UI until July 1, 2007. Blevins' salary for the 2006-07 academic year will be $115,800, an increase of 14.43 percent.

Bluder, who recently completed her sixth season as head coach of the UI women's basketball program by guiding the Hawkeyes to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time, is now under contract with the UI until June 30, 2011. The contract includes a salary of $293,908 for 2006-07, an increase of 11.71 percent.

Alford, who recently completed his seventh season as head coach of the UI's men's basketball program by guiding the Hawkeyes to the NCAA Tournament as the champion of the Big Ten Conference's annual post-season tournament, is now under contract with the UI until June 30, 2010. The contract includes a salary of $500,000 for 2006-07, an increase of 16.78 percent.

Blevins guided Iowa to a 39-22 record in 2006, a season that included the UI being asked to be one of just 16 teams across the country to host an NCAA Regional event. Six Hawkeyes earned all-Big Ten honors and two - Emily Nichols and Stacy May - were named to the Midwest All-Region team by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association. Blevins' has won two Big Ten tournament titles and five regulars season titles during her Iowa career.

"I continue to be appreciative of the support Bob and the administration have shown the softball program," said Blevins. "I've always said that to field a competitive team, you need the support of the entire department, from the top down. That is what we have here at Iowa, and I am excited for the future of our program."

Bluder's Hawkeyes overcame a series of season-ending injuries to starters and top reserves to record 10 wins in Big Ten play and the team's fourth upper division finish under her leadership. The team was led by senior guard Crystal Smith, who was selected by Phoenix in this year's WNBA Draft, and freshman center Megan Skouby, who was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year. Bluder 2001 Hawkeyes won the Big Ten tournament title.

"I am happy that before Bob left, he had the confidence in me to extend my contract," Bluder said. "I would love to coach at Iowa a very long time and this shows a commitment to our recruits that our staff will be here. I feel very good about the future of our program and look forward to some very successful seasons."

Alford's Hawkeyes won 25 games in 2005-06 - the second-best single-season total in school history and a mark that included 17 victories inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The appearance in the NCAA post-season tournament was the third for Iowa and the team's sixth post-season appearance total under Alford's guidance. Iowa's 2006 Conference tournament title was Alford's second. Iowa also had two student-athletes - senior Greg Brunner and junior Adam Haluska - named academic All-America by the College Sports Information Directors of America and ESPN. Both were third team selections.

"I appreciate the administration's confidence in our program," said Alford. "The men's basketball staff feels very good about the direction the program is headed. The future of Iowa basketball is excellent and I look forward to what lies ahead. I want to say thanks to Bob Bowlsby for his leadership and friendship since I've been at Iowa. We all wish him good luck at Stanford."

It is the intention of UI Interim President Gary Fethke to meet with the new director of athletics shortly after their arrival to determine the most desirable length of contract for each head coach.