Kim Mulkey leaves Baylor to fill LSU vacancy

Kim Mulkey, who led the Baylor University women’s basketball team to three national championships in two glorious decades in charge, is Louisiana State’s new head coach.

LSU athletics director Scott Woodward made the big announcement on Sunday.

An introductory press conference is set for Monday.

Mulkey, 58, coached Baylor from 2000-21. She compiled a 632-104 record.

“Kim Mulkey is a champion and a Hall of Famer, and we are thrilled to welcome her home,” Woodward said in a statement. “Her accomplishments are unprecedented, her passion is unrivaled, and her commitment to winning in all aspects of life – in the classroom, on the court, and in the community – is unparalleled. We look forward to working with her as she instills that championship culture at LSU.”

Kim Mulkey replaces longtime coach Nikki Fargas

Nikki Fargas resigned as LSU coach on Saturday after 10 seasons at the helm.

The Tigers finished with a 9-13 record in Fargas’ final season in charge. She led the Tigers to six NCAA Tournament appearances and five 20-win seasons. Fargas had a 177-129 overall record.

Reflecting on her long stint as coach, Fargas expressed gratitude to the university and her players.

“I will be forever grateful for the opportunity that I had to serve as LSU’s women’s basketball coach,” Fargas said. “It was a tremendous honor to represent LSU and the wonderful people on this campus and community. I can’t express how thankful I am to have coached the wonderful young women in our program, student-athletes who were dedicated and committed to having success on the court and in the classroom.”

Kim Mulkey’s basketball achievements

Kim Mulkey was a star point guard at Louisiana Tech (1980-84). She also competed for Team USA at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, winning a gold medal.

The Tickfaw, Louisiana, native began her coaching career at Louisiana Tech and served as an assistant coach (1985-96) and associate head coach (1996-2000) before taking over at Baylor.

She was selected as one of the 2020 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductees. Due to the pandemic, the Hall of Fame postponed the enshrinement ceremony.

A prolific winner

So what was the hallmark of Mulkey’s tenure at Baylor?

Consistency.

Mulkey had 21 consecutive winning seasons at Baylor. What’s more, her team won 30 or more games 10 times.

In 2004-05, Baylor went 33-3, winning its first NCAA title under Mulkey. In 2011-12, Mulkey’s team had a 40-0 record and won another championship.

Moreover, the Lady Bears went 37-1 in the 2018-19 campaign and captured their third title of the Kim Mulkey era.

A part of winning programs

Kim Mulkey’s track record of extraordinary success began in her playing days. Louisiana Tech went 130-6 in her four seasons. It started with back-to-back national title-winning years and a championship runner-up finish in her junior year.

As an assistant/associate head coach at her alma mater, Mulkey’s team posted a 430-68 record, including the NCAA crown in 1987-88.

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