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End of an Era: Mulkey leaves Baylor to coach at LSU

Kim Mulkey
Posted at 4:58 PM, Apr 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-27 00:22:05-04

More than 20 years after taking over Baylor's women's basketball program, Kim Mulkey is stepping away to become the newest head coach at Louisiana State University. Sources tell 25 News she has met with the team and told them she is taking the job at LSU.

Baylor's President, Linda Livingstone took to Twitter thanking Coach Mulkey for all that she's done for the Bears.

LSU issued this statement after the news of Mulkey taking the job.

"Kim Mulkey is a champion and a Hall of Famer, and we are thrilled to welcome her home," said Director of Athletics Scott Woodward. "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. "

Rumors connecting Mulkey to the LSU job began after the school's previous coach, Nikki Fargas, stepped down April 15.

"It doesn't matter where my career takes me, you always go back to your roots. My children were born in north Louisiana, my son played there at LSU. You always listen," Mulkey said in an interview with Jordy Culotta, a Baton Rouge sports radio host, soon after Fargas's resignation. "I had opportunities to leave Baylor, but timing in one's life is always the reason you make career decisions."

Mulkey has roots in Lousiana. She grew up in Tickfaw, Louisiana, a small town about 50 miles from Baton Rouge. She played and coached at Louisiana Tech University before coming to Waco to coach the Lady Bears.

Mulkey leaves the program in a far better place than she found it.

In 21 seasons with the Lady Bears, Mulkey won 631 career games and three national titles. In 2020-21, she led Baylor to the Elite Eight, where they fell to UConn in heartbreaking fashion.

Baylor has won every Big 12 regular season title since 2011 and all but one conference tournament in the same stretch.

Mulkey was named to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in April 2020. She will be ceremonially inducted by Michael Jordan on May 15.

Her long and illustrious career is no stranger to halls of fame. Mulkey has previous inductions into the National High School Hall of Fame (1985), Louisiana High School Hall of Fame (1986), Louisiana Sports Writers Hall of Fame (1990), Louisiana Tech Athletics Hall of Fame (1992), Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame (2000), CoSIDA Academic All-America Hall of Fame (2003), Baylor Athletics Hall of Fame (2007) and Texas Sports Hall of Fame (2010).

Mulkey is the only person to ever win an NCAA title as a player, assistant coach and head coach. She won titles with Baylor in 2005, 2012 and 2019. In 2020, she became the fastest coach in college hoops history to win 600 games.

She is one of just three head coaches (Geno Auriemma, Pat Summit) to win three or more women's basketball titles.

Baylor will now begin the search for Mulkey's replacement in the Green and Gold. Their selection will become the fifth women's basketball coach in program history.