WACO, TX — Fans packed the stands season after season at the Ferrell Center to watch Kim Mulkey and the Lady Bears play. Many Baylor fans were stunned by Mulkey’s announcement to return home to Louisiana, but it's no doubt LSU fans are gaining a huge asset.
Over the past two decades, Mulkey has built a legacy with the Lady Bears, but you know what they say, there is no place like home.
Whether you are a die-hard Baylor fan or can’t tell the difference between a touchdown and a 3-pointer, ou still, most likely, know who Kim Mulkey is. It’s a name that holds weight from across state lines.
“Well growing up I was a huge Baylor fan, and I went to all the Lady Bears basketball games, so Kim Mulkey was a big name here in Waco. Hearing that she’s going to LSU breaks my heart, especially watching her win all those championship games, but she’s going home so we’re happy for her,” said Genesis Moncada, director of PR at the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.
“I heard that she’s a really big deal. I think that it’s very bittersweet because she spent a lot of time coaching, and that’s a part of her identity and who she is,” said Minori Uvukata, a Baylor sophomore.
Baylor fans are stunned, but LSU fans are stoked!
“This is a win already for LSU in terms of who she is and what she brings. I don’t think she would have left Baylor for anywhere else. I think it's just one of those circumstances where it worked out for her. Of course, Baylor lost a great coach, but she left Baylor in a great position," said Scott Rabalais, sports writer for the Baton Rouge Advocate.
LSU’s Women’s Basketball team has had five Final 4 appearances but never brought home the national title. Tiger fans hoping it won’t be that way for long.
“Basketball is not really the biggest sport at LSU, but people are expecting them to be at a championship level, and they expect with her track record that she’ll have them back there at some point,” Rabalais said.
While she's expected to propel LSU’s Women’s Basketball team into a new era, Mulkey’s move home transcends championship titles.
“I don’t gather from talking to people who know her that she was unhappy at Baylor, but for Kim, I think home is home and home has always been South Louisiana. It's the signal, a sign that LSU can bring in someone of Kim Mulkey stature, it says this is a commitment to women’s athletics, a commitment to women’s basketball and a commitment to improving things for women on this campus,” Rabalais said.
Just as she has built a legacy in Waco, she’s already built one in Louisiana through her time in high school and college. It’s a legacy she will undoubtedly continue with the LSU Tigers.
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