Kim Mulkey is a name known by many for her fiery sideline presence and vibrant wardrobe. It should be most notable however that Mulkey is fourth amongst all NCAA Division I women’s basketball coaches all-time with an overall winning percentage of 86%.
Mulkey spent the first 21 years of her head coaching career at the division one level coaching the Baylor Bears to three NCAA championships, and a 632-104 overall record during her time there.
Mulkey has since moved onto LSU where she has a 72-9 record to-date in her two and a half season with the Tigers.
In her first season in 2021, Mulkey led the Tigers to a 26-6 regular season record. This was the best record for the Tigers since the 2007-2008 season, with the past 12 seasons before Mulkey arrived in Baton Rouge seeing the Tigers with double digit losses in each, and advancing past the second round of the NCAA tournament twice in those 12 seasons.
Kim Mulkey has LSU women's basketball as a national title contender again
In only Mulkey’s second season in Baton Rouge, the Tigers won their first ever national championship in women’s basketball.
Despite this, Mulkey is disliked by many for her sideline interactions with officials, and what many view to be poor sportsmanship from her players.
Despite what the outside thinks, comments made from players and how they react when in the heat of the moment say the exact opposite. Recently, star player Angel Reese held a livid Mulkey back from officials during a game against Northwestern State a few weeks ago after the Tigers had been called for their second technical foul. The video is shown on www.wafb.com in an article written by WAFB Assistant News Director, Allison Childers.
Childers wrote that after the Game, Reese said of Mulkey, "We really like to win no matter the score. Of course she’s gonna fight for us, and we all fight for her. That moment was fun, and we knew we had her back and she had our back.”
In the national championship game last year, Reese was shown trash-talking star Iowa Hawkeyes player, Caitlin Clark pointing to her ring finger as if to say she was going to place her national championship ring on it. While social media became a firestorm over this moment, Mulkey has Reese’s back the whole way stating in her post-game press conference , “She trash-talks on the court, but she does not cross, really, the line of vulgarity. She has had technical called this year and she’s not going to apologize for it.” For the coach to have her players back in a heated moment caught on national television is telling.
Comments like Mulkey’s about her players are not made if a team is divided amongst each other, or their coach. And players do not hold their coaches back either if this were indeed the case.
Furthermore, Reese and the rest of the team seem to be fully bought in even in the era of NIL which you can learn more about in my article here, which also speaks to the internal culture of loyalty and respect that Mulkey has brought to Baton Rouge.
So despite the outside noise that seems to unfairly be placed on the program, expect the Tigers to remain near the top as long as Mulkey is in Baton Rouge.