Mulkey named Naismith COY semifinalist

Mulkey named Naismith COY semifinalist
Posted at 8:53 PM, Feb 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-21 21:53:00-05

Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey is one of 10 coaches in the running for the 2018 Werner Ladder Naismith Women’s College Coach of the Year honor, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Wednesday.

In her 18th year, Mulkey has guided Baylor to nine Big 12 regular season titles overall in addition to eight conference tournament titles. Most recently, the Lady Bears clinched their eighth consecutive regular season crown with a victory at No. 6/6 Texas on Feb. 19.

Mulkey has mentored her young squad to a 26-1 record overall, a perfect 16-0 mark in the Big 12 and a No. 3 national ranking in Associated Press and USA Today polls.

With just three upperclassmen and eight players in uniform, Baylor is averaging 87.1 points per game, which ranks second nationally, and 48.9 rebounds per game, which leads the country.

Against ranked opponents, the Lady Bears are 8-1 with their lone loss coming on the road to then-ranked No. 8/7 UCLA without starting power forward Lauren Cox and Mulkey present. Baylor owns a +17.1 scoring margin and a +16.0 rebounding margin against ranked foes, netting an average of 82.6 points and 47.6 rebounds per contest.

“This has been a remarkable college basketball season thus far, and these 10 semifinalists have proven themselves worthy of being considered for the Werner Ladder Naismith Women’s College Coach of the Year,” said Eric Oberman, executive director of the Tipoff Club.

Mulkey, who was recently named a finalist for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, won the Naismith National Coach of the Year award in 2012 after leading Baylor to a 40-0 season and its second national championship.

In her tenure, Mulkey has turned the program into one of the nation’s elite dynasties. The Lady Bears have won at least 21 games every year under her direction, including 16 25-win seasons and eight 30-win seasons. Baylor has made 16 NCAA Tournament appearances, culminating in two national championships (2005, 2012), three Final Fours (2005, 2010, 2012) and a Big 12 women’s basketball record 17 conference championships.

From the list of 10, the Naismith Awards master voting academy will select the four finalists on March 14. The national award winner will be announced on March 31. Fans will be able to support their favorite coach by visiting between March 19-30 to cast their ballot. The fan vote accounts for five percent of the overall final vote.