Kim Mulkey
Mulkey in 2024
Current position
TitleHead coach
TeamLSU
ConferenceSEC
Record91–14 (.867)
Biographical details
Born (1962-05-17) May 17, 1962 (age 61)
Santa Ana, California, U.S.
Playing career
1980–1984Louisiana Tech
1983–1984USA National Team
Position(s)Point guard
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1985–1996Louisiana Tech (assistant)
1996–2000Louisiana Tech (associate HC)
2000–2021Baylor
2021–presentLSU
Head coaching record
Overall723–118 (.860)
Accomplishments and honors
Championships
As player:
NCAA Division I tournament (1982)
AIAW Division I tournament (1981)
As assistant coach:
NCAA Division I Tournament (1988)
As head coach:
4× NCAA Division I Tournament (2005, 2012, 2019, 2023)
NCAA Regional—Final Four (2005, 2010, 2012, 2019, 2023)
12× Big 12 regular season (2005, 2011–2021)
11× Big 12 tournament (2005, 2009, 2011–2016, 2018, 2019, 2021)
Awards
Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2020 (profile)
Women's Basketball Hall of Fame
Medal record
Women's Basketball
Representing  United States
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1984 Los Angeles Team competition
Pan American
Gold medal – first place 1983 Caracas Team Competition
FIBA World Championship for Women
Silver medal – second place 1983 Rio de Janeiro Team Competition
Jones Cup
Gold medal – first place 1984 Taipei Team Competition

Kimberly Duane Mulkey (born May 17, 1962)[1] is an American college basketball coach and former player. Since 2021, she has been the head coach for Louisiana State University's women's basketball team. A Pan-American gold medalist in 1983 and Olympic gold medalist in 1984, she is the first coach in NCAA basketball history to win national championships as a player, assistant coach, and head coach.[2] Since the inception of the NCAA women's tournament in 1982, Mulkey has participated as a player or coach every year except 1985 and 2003.

As head coach, her teams won NCAA championships at Baylor in 2005, 2012, and 2019 and at LSU in 2023. Mulkey is one of seven coaches to have led teams to more than one championship win, ranking third behind UConn's Geno Auriemma's 11 titles and former Tennessee coach Pat Summitt's 8 wins.[3]

Mulkey was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2000 and into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2020.[2][4][5][6]

In 2007, Mulkey penned her autobiography, titled Won't Back Down: Teams, Dreams and Family.

Youth

Kim Mulkey was born in Santa Ana, California,[7] and spent her childhood in Tickfaw, Louisiana. After playing basketball at Nesom Junior High School[8] in Tickfaw, she led her Hammond High School basketball team to four consecutive state championships. As high school valedictorian, she graduated with a 4.0 GPA.

Louisiana Tech

The 5 ft 4 in (1.63 m) Mulkey was an All-American point guard at Louisiana Tech University, winning two national championships as a player: the AIAW title in 1981 and the inaugural NCAA title in 1982.[citation needed] In 1984, she was the inaugural winner of the women's Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award, awarded to the top college senior under 5'6"/1.68 m (the height limit was later raised).[9]

USA Basketball

Mulkey was selected to be a member of the USA National women's basketball team for the 1983 Pan American Games in Caracas, Venezuela. The team won all five games to earn the gold medal for the event. Mulkey averaged 12.4 points per game.[10] At the 1983 World Championships, USA National took home the silver medal after winning six games and losing two with Mulkey averaging 3.1 points per game.[11]

USA National won its eight games at the 1984 Jones Cup by an average of just under 50 points per game. Mulkey averaged 6.8 points per game.[12] At the 1984 Summer Olympics, USA National won its six games to earn the gold medal, with Mulkey averaging 5.3 points per game.[13]

Coaching career

Louisiana Tech

In 1985, Mulkey was hired as an assistant coach at Louisiana Tech under Leon Barmore then promoted to associate head coach in 1996 before leaving in 2000. Over her 15 years, Tech posted a 430–68 record and advanced to 7 Final Fours, winning the NCAA championship in 1988.[3] She was inducted into the College Sports Information Directors of America Academic Hall of Fame for her classroom achievements.[citation needed]

Baylor

This section of a biography of a living person needs additional citations for verification. Please help by adding reliable sources. Contentious material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced must be removed immediately from the article and its talk page, especially if potentially libelous.Find sources: "Kim Mulkey" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (November 2021) (Learn how and when to remove this message)

In 2000, Mulkey took over a Baylor program that had finished its previous season 7–20 and last in the Big 12 Conference.[citation needed] Baylor received its first NCAA tournament bid during her inaugural season, going on to the tournament 18 more times. During her tenure, the Bears advanced 4 times to the Final Four, winning the championship in 2005, 2012, and 2019.[3] The 2012 national title followed a 40-0 perfect season, the first in program history.[citation needed]

Mulkey in a postgame interview in 2006.

During the COVID-19 pandemic

Although the 2020 NCAA tournament was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Baylor made it to the Elite Eight of the 2021 tournament, held in an event isolation "bubble.” During the Elite Eight round, Mulkey advocated ending COVID-19 testing on the tournament players despite the ongoing pandemic. She stated during a press conference that the organization tasked with running the student tournament should "dump the COVID testing," despite not being asked about it by reporters.[14] She then stated more fully that, "Wouldn’t it be a shame to keep COVID testing, and then you got kids [testing] positive or something, and they don't get to play in the Final Four? So you need to just forget the COVID tests and let the four teams that are playing in each Final Four go battle it out."[15] Mulkey herself had tested positive for the virus earlier in the season,[14] and made the comments following her team's loss to UConn, a team that Baylor was supposed to face earlier in the season but was cancelled due to Mulkey's COVID diagnosis.[16] According to CBS News, her comments were later described by "many basketball fans" as "misinformed, dangerous and irresponsible."[17] Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma later defended Mulkey's comments, noting the complexity of decisions during the pandemic particularly in the context of college sports.[18][19]

Louisiana State University

Mulkey (foreground left) at the White House event celebrating the LSU Tigers winning the 2022–23 NCAA National Championship

After 21 seasons at Baylor, Mulkey departed for LSU in April 2021. In her second season, she led the Tigers to win the national championship for her fourth lifetime win as head coach.[20]

Controversies

Mulkey has been the subject of several controversies during her coaching career.[21] In 2013, star Baylor player Brittney Griner told ESPN that Mulkey advised student athletes to stay quiet about their sexual orientation, as being openly gay could hurt the reputation of the program at a religious school and inhibit recruiting efforts.[22][21] Griner explained that while she respected Mulkey's coaching and the way Mulkey defended Griner from bullying, she did not appreciate Mulkey's request to cover her tattoos or delete social media posts about her girlfriend.[21] Griner detailed the pain caused by this experience in her 2014 memoir.[23] Several players defended Mulkey.[24]

In 2022, Mulkey received criticism when she refused to comment about Griner's detention in Russia.[21][25][26]

In March 2024, Mulkey threatened to sue the Washington Post for an upcoming article she described as a "hit piece".[25] She also criticized a Los Angeles Times column as sexist for describing her LSU team as "dirty debutantes". The writer apologized and the paper removed the term from the article for not meeting their editorial standards.[27]

Personal life

In 1987, Mulkey married Randy Robertson, whom she met at Louisiana Tech where he was the starting quarterback for the Bulldogs for the 1974 and 1975 seasons. They have two children together: son Kramer, a professional baseball player and collegiate All-American at Louisiana State University, and daughter Makenzie, who played both basketball and softball for Baylor. During her marriage to Robertson, she was known as Kim Mulkey-Robertson. Mulkey and Robertson divorced in 2006.[28]

Mulkey is known for her exuberant fashion worn during games.[29] She has said her style is inspired by Louisiana.[30] Mulkey often wears outfits by Queen of Sparkles. She gets styling assistance from Jennifer Roberts, LSU's director of Player personnel and influence.[30]

Head coaching record

Statistics overview
Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Baylor Lady Bears (Big 12 Conference) (2000–2021)
2000–01 Baylor 21–9 9–9 6th NCAA First Round
2001–02 Baylor 27–6 12–4 2nd NCAA Second Round
2002–03 Baylor 24–11 8–8 7th WNIT Runner-up
2003–04 Baylor 26–9 10–6 T–4th NCAA Sweet Sixteen
2004–05 Baylor 33–3 14–2 1st NCAA Champions
2005–06 Baylor 26–7 12–4 2nd NCAA Sweet Sixteen
2006–07 Baylor 26–8 11–5 3rd NCAA Second Round
2007–08 Baylor 25–7 12–4 2nd NCAA Second Round
2008–09 Baylor 29–6 12–4 2nd NCAA Sweet Sixteen
2009–10 Baylor 27–10 9–7 6th NCAA Final Four
2010–11 Baylor 34–3 15–1 1st NCAA Elite Eight
2011–12 Baylor 40–0 18–0 1st NCAA Champions
2012–13 Baylor 34–2 18–0 1st NCAA Sweet Sixteen
2013–14 Baylor 32–5 16–2 T-1st NCAA Elite Eight
2014–15 Baylor 33–4 16–2 1st NCAA Elite Eight
2015–16 Baylor 36–2 17–1 1st NCAA Elite Eight
2016–17 Baylor 33–4 17–1 1st NCAA Elite Eight
2017–18 Baylor 33–2 18–0 1st NCAA Sweet Sixteen
2018–19 Baylor 37–1 18–0 1st NCAA Champions
2019–20 Baylor 28–2 17–1 1st Postseason not held due to COVID-19
2020–21 Baylor 28–3 16–1 1st NCAA Elite Eight
Baylor: 632–104 (.859) 291–61 (.827)
LSU Tigers (Southeastern Conference) (2021–present)
2021–22 LSU 26–6 13–3 2nd NCAA Second Round
2022–23 LSU 34–2 15–1 2nd NCAA Champions
2023–24 LSU 31–6 13–3 2nd NCAA Elite Eight
LSU: 91–14 (.867) 41–7 (.854)
Total: 723–118 (.860)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

Source:[31][32]

National Championships

Year Opponent Score Record
2005 Michigan State Spartans 84–62 33–3
2012 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 80–61 40–0
2019 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 82–81 37–1
2023 Iowa Hawkeyes 102–85 34–2
National Championships 4

Awards and honors

See also

References

  1. ^ "Women's Basketball Coaches Career". NCAA. Retrieved 24 Sep 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Kim Mulkey".
  3. ^ a b c "NCAA D1 Women's Basketball Championship History". NCAA.com. Retrieved 2024-04-05.
  4. ^ Rabalais, Scott (May 15, 2021). "Kim Mulkey on Hall of Fame journey: 'Incredibly honored,' being feminine but 'tough as hell,' more". The Advocate. Retrieved May 16, 2021.
  5. ^ Guilbeau, Glenn (May 15, 2021). "LSU coach Kim Mulkey gets Hammond, Tickfaw in Basketball Hall of Fame acceptance speech". Lafayette Daily Advertiser. Retrieved May 16, 2021.
  6. ^ Nagy, Zack (May 16, 2021). "LSU Women's Basketball Coach Kim Mulkey Inducted into Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved May 16, 2021.
  7. ^ a b c "Kim Mulkey Bio – Baylor Official Athletic Site". www.baylorbears.com. Archived from the original on 2016-04-26. Retrieved 2016-04-20.
  8. ^ The Village of Tickfaw later named the street along the east side of the schoolground Kim Mulkey Drive in her honor.
  9. ^ "Frances Pomeroy Naismith". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Archived from the original on 2014-07-15. Retrieved 30 Jun 2014.
  10. ^ "Ninth Pan American Games – 1983". USA Basketball. June 10, 2010. Archived from the original on 7 September 2015. Retrieved 15 October 2015.
  11. ^ "Ninth World Championship For Women – 1983". USA Basketball. June 10, 2010. Archived from the original on 5 September 2015. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  12. ^ "1984 WOMEN'S R. WILLIAM JONES CUP". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  13. ^ "Games of the XXIIIrd Olympiad – 1984". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on 13 October 2013. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  14. ^ a b Henry Bushnell (March 29, 2021). "Baylor's Kim Mulkey has wild March Madness take: 'Forget the COVID tests' at Final Four". Yahoo.
  15. ^ MICHAEL SHAPIRO (March 29, 2021). "Baylor Coach Kim Mulkey Says NCAA Should 'Dump' COVID-19 Testing for Final Four". Sports Illustrated.
  16. ^ "'Dump the COVID testing' | Baylor coach calls for end of COVID-19 testing at NCAA tournaments". WUSA9 CBS. Associated Press. March 29, 2021.
  17. ^ Shanna McCarriston (March 29, 2021). "NCAA Women's Tournament: Baylor coach Kim Mulkey shares controversial take on COVID-19 testing after loss". CBS.
  18. ^ "Auriemma: Context to Mulkey COVID remarks". ESPN.com. 2021-03-31. Retrieved 2021-04-08.
  19. ^ "UConn's Geno Auriemma Reacts to Kim Mulkey's NCAA Money Comments". StorrsCentral. Retrieved 2024-04-05.
  20. ^ "Hall of Famer Kim Mulkey Named LSU Women's Basketball Head Coach". LSU Tigers. 25 April 2021. Retrieved 2021-04-25.
  21. ^ a b c d Longman, Jeré (2 Apr 2023). "Kim Mulkey, a Colorful and Divisive Coach, Wins Another Title". New York Times. Retrieved 24 Mar 2024.
  22. ^ "Griner: Mulkey said keep quiet on sexuality". ESPN.com. 2013-05-18. Retrieved 2024-03-24.
  23. ^ Puleo, Mark. "Baylor to retire Brittney Griner's jersey". The Athletic. Retrieved 2024-03-24.
  24. ^ "In new book, Brittney Griner slams Kim Mulkey, details 'all the pain I felt' being gay at Baylor". Dallas News. 2014-02-27. Retrieved 2024-03-24.
  25. ^ a b Puleo, Mark. "Mulkey speaks on 'hit piece' coming from Washington Post". The Athletic. Retrieved 2024-03-24.
  26. ^ Scott, Jelani (2022-09-26). "Former Baylor Players Speak Out Against Kim Mulkey's Silence". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2024-03-24.
  27. ^ "LA Times reporter apologizes for 'offensive' LSU column". ESPN.com. 2 April 2024.
  28. ^ "Baylor's Kim Mulkey is fierce, loving and loyal, but don't get on her bad side". Dallas Morning News. Archived from the original on 2018-12-29. Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  29. ^ "LSU Women's Basketball Coach Kim Mulkey Dons Outlandish Courtside Outfits on Road to Victory: See the Looks". Peoplemag. Retrieved 2023-09-02.
  30. ^ a b "Final Floral: Kim Mulkey debuts another eye-catching fit". Just Women's Sports. 31 March 2023. Retrieved 2023-09-02.
  31. ^ "Player Bio: Kim Mulkey :: Women's Basketball". Archived from the original on 2009-03-28. Retrieved 2007-03-19.
  32. ^ "Big 12 Record Book" (PDF) (Press release). Big 12 Sports. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-02-16. Retrieved 2008-02-10.
  33. ^ "Past Russell Athletic/WBCA National Coaches of the Year". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 30 Jun 2014.
  34. ^ "Mulkey Named AP National Coach of the Year". 31 March 2022.