WACO, TX — It doesn't matter how young or old, if you represent Baylor green and gold, losing Kim Mulkey as your head basketball coach is a tough pill to swallow.
After three national championships, 11 Big 12 tournament titles, 20 postseason appearances, Mulkey is leaving Bear fans feeling one type of way.
“I think a lot of people are shocked,” said Jake Simmons, a junior at Baylor.
Mulkey took the Baylor women’s program and did a 180 with it, building a lasting legacy from the ground up.
Each stat and win, marked in the Baylor archives, is history longtime Bear fans and Waco natives appreciate, but are now reminiscing.
“It kind of caused me to reflect and look back on all the things she's accomplished,” said Jay Black, a Baylor graduate Class of 1995. “It's been pretty amazing, the turnaround she's had at Baylor.”
While Black witnessed her career in its entirety, you did not have to live in the area in 2000 when she signed the dotted line for the job, or in 2005 when she won her first national title, to know what she’s leaving behind.
“We're kind of just losing...the legacy of her,” Simmons explained. “We're also just… losing… part of our history.”
However, just over 24 hours after the news broke, some fans and current Baylor students are getting over those hurt emotions, already looking toward the future and who will step into the position.
“She's been here for such a long time. She's rode the wave throughout the program,” said Trey Mckeown, a senior at Baylor. “I feel like it was her time to leave for a reason, and now we just need to find a new coach.”
Some described her departure as an empty hole in the Baylor community, but regardless, she’s leaving big shoes to fill.
“She set a high bar for the next coach at Baylor,” Black said. “But also for a coach to try and be considered the best in Texas history, it's her by a long measure at this point.”
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