By Richard Kent, Staff Reporter
Kim Mulkey is the best coach in both men’s and women’s basketball today. And I am proud to say that she is my friend.
Her LSU team won the National Championship Sunday night over favored Iowa and before a staggering 9.9 million viewers on ABC. I met her on December 13, 2009 at Madison Square Garden after her Baylor team had beaten Boston College in the Maggie Dixon Classic and we have been friends since.
She is loyal and giving to everyone in her orbit and that has never changed. She is today, even after three more National Championships under her belt, the same coach who I met on that Saturday. And that is a good thing since we all know that power intoxicates, but it never intoxicated her.
Mulkey won her first Championship at Baylor in 2005 and the titles have kept coming. After leading her LSU team to the promised land Sunday night, Mulkey sits as the only women’s head coach to have won Championships at two different schools. And the only coach to have won a Championship as a player, assistant coach and head coach.
And she also boasts a gaudy career coaching record of 658-110. Yes, those numbers are correct. She took over a Baylor team in 2000 which had gone 9-20 the year before and guided them to a 21-9 finish. She took over an LSU team in 2021 which had gone 9-13 the year before and guided them to a record of 26-6.
Mulkey would have been content to finish her career at Baylor, but when LSU came calling in April of 2021, she met with Baylor Athletic Director Mack Rhoades and he never countered the LSU offer. Seems as if he was content to ride the coattails of Scott Drew’s men’s team which had just won Baylor’s first men’s National Championship a couple of weeks before.
LSU returns its top players in Angel Reese and Kateri Poole along with the country’s best recruiting class, highlighted by Mikaylah Williams. Expect Mulkey’s team to contend for yet another National Championship next season, along with the likes of UConn and Maryland.