WACO, Texas — Lady Bears Head Coach Kim Mulkey will officially be a part of the 2020 Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame induction class. This is the third time Mulkey has been named a finalist for the honor.
Mulkey joins a star-studded induction class that includes NBA legends Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett as well as WNBA star Tamika Catchings. Barbara Stevens, Rudy Tomjanovic and former Oklahoma State Head Coach Eddie Sutton round out the class. Mulkey advocated for Sutton's induction multiple times this season.
"To be inducted in this particular class with all their accomplishments is very special," Mulkey said.
She is the first person in NCAA history male or female, to win a national championship as a player, assistant coach and head coach. We congratulate 3x National Champion Coach Kim Mulkey. #20HoopClass pic.twitter.com/0YUcd11p7p— Basketball HOF (@Hoophall) April 4, 2020
Mulkey will be inducted into the Hall of Fame as a coach. She had previously been previously named a finalist as both a player and coach.
When she got the call yesterday, Mulkey cried. She was both excited to be inducted and sad for the circumstances she is being inducted under.
"I wanted to celebrate because those are tears of joy," Mulkey said. "But at the same time I kept thinking about what's going on in our country and our world right now."
Part of that concern revolves around her players who were sent home after Big 12 and NCAA officials canceled the remainder of the basketball season. She is excited to get back to her team.
"When will the day come when they're back here and they can walk in the office and we can laugh and talk and you can cry and you just have that physical presence?" Mulkey said.
Her success was recognized across Baylor's campus.
“It is only fitting that the highest honor in basketball is being bestowed upon Kim Mulkey today with her selection to the 2020 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame," Baylor Athletic Director Mack Rhoades said. "Baylor University and its athletics department joins in with the basketball world today in congratulating Coach Mulkey, her players and staff, past and present, for this tremendous achievement. We are thankful for her trailblazing leadership in building an elite program at Baylor and preparing champions for life.
Her long and illustrious career is no stranger to hall of fames. 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 currently has a 604-101 record as a head coach.
The Lady Bears' coach has also been named National Coach of the Year seven times and led Baylor to 10 straight Big 12 titles.
But, despite the accolades, Mulkey said she wants to be remembered for how she coached and lived, rather than the accomplishments.
"I'm just Kim, and that's what people will tell you. She's the same person today that she was when she was 18 years old. Nothing changes about me."