Kim Mulkey

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Kim Mulkey
Mulkey in 2024
Current position
TitleHead coach
Record78–12 (.867)
Biographical details
Born (1962-05-17) May 17, 1962 (age 61)
Santa Ana, California, U.S.
Alma materLouisiana Tech University (Class of 1984)
Playing career
1980–1984Louisiana Tech
1983–1984USA National Team
Position(s)Point guard
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1985–1996Louisiana Tech (assistant)
1996–2000Louisiana Tech (associate HC)
Head coaching record
Overall700–113 (.861)
Accomplishments and honors
As player:
NCAA Division I tournament (1982)
AIAW Division I tournament (1981)
As assistant coach:
NCAA Division I Tournament (1988)
As head coach:
4× NCAA Division I Tournament (2005, 2012, 2019, 2023)
NCAA Regional—Final Four (2005, 2010, 2012, 2019, 2023)
12× Big 12 regular season (2005, 2011–2021)
11× Big 12 tournament (2005, 2009, 2011–2016, 2018, 2019, 2021)
Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2020 (profile)
Women's Basketball Hall of Fame
Medal record
Women's Basketball
Representing  United States
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1984 Los Angeles Team competition
Pan American
Gold medal – first place 1983 Caracas Team Competition
FIBA World Championship for Women
Silver medal – second place 1983 Rio de Janeiro Team Competition
Jones Cup
Gold medal – first place 1984 Taipei Team Competition

Kimberly Duane Mulkey (born May 17, 1962)[1] is an American college basketball coach and former player. She is the head coach for Louisiana State University's women's basketball team. A Pan-American gold medalist in 1983 and Olympic gold medalist in 1984, she became the first person in NCAA women's basketball history to win a national championship as a player, assistant coach, and head coach.[2] She has won NCAA championships as the coach of Baylor in 2005, 2012, and 2019 and of LSU in 2023. Mulkey was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2000 and into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2020.[3][4][5]


Kim Mulkey was one of the first girls in the U.S. to play organized basketball with boys. After playing basketball at Nesom Junior High School[6] in Tickfaw, Louisiana, she led her Hammond High School basketball team to four consecutive state championships. As high school valedictorian, she posted a perfect 4.0 GPA. She later achieved high academic honors as an inductee into the College Sports Information Directors of America Academic Hall of Fame for her classroom achievements at Louisiana Tech.

Louisiana Tech[edit]

The 5 ft 4 in (1.63 m) Mulkey was an All-American point guard at Louisiana Tech University, winning two national championships as a player—the AIAW title in 1981 and the inaugural NCAA title in 1982—and in 1984 was the inaugural winner of the women's version of the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award, given to the nation's top college senior under 5'6"/1.68 m (the height limit was later raised to 5'8"/1.73 m).[7] She became an assistant at Tech in 1985 and was promoted to associate head coach in 1996. During her 15-year tenure as assistant and associate head coach under Leon Barmore, Louisiana Tech posted a 430–68 record and advanced to seven Final Fours. Mulkey and the Lady Techsters won the 1988 NCAA Championship.

USA Basketball[edit]

Mulkey was selected to be a member of the team representing the US at the 1983 Pan American Games held in Caracas, Venezuela. The team won all five games to earn the gold medal for the event. Mulkey averaged 12.4 points per game.[8]

Mulkey played for the USA National team in the 1983 World Championships, held in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The team won six games, but lost two against the Soviet Union. In an opening round game, the USA team had a nine-point lead at halftime, but the Soviets came back to take the lead, and a final shot by the USA failed to drop, leaving the USSR team with a one-point victory 85–84. The USA team won their next four games, setting up the gold medal game against USSR. This game was also close, and was tied at 82 points each with six seconds to go in the game. The Soviets Elena Chausova received the inbounds pass and hit the game winning shot in the final seconds, giving the USSR team the gold medal with a score of 84–82. The USA team earned the silver medal. Mulkey averaged 3.1 points per game.[9]

In 1984, the USA sent its National team to the 1984 William Jones Cup competition in Taipei, Taiwan, for pre-Olympic practice. The team easily beat each of the eight teams they played, winning by an average of just under 50 points per game. Mulkey averaged 6.8 points per game.[10]

She continued with the national team to represent the US at the 1984 Olympics. The team won all six games to claim the gold medal. Mulkey averaged 5.3 points per game.[11]

Coaching career[edit]


In 2000, Mulkey took over a Baylor program that had finished the 1999–2000 season 7–20 and last in the Big 12 Conference, and had never received an invite to the NCAA tournament. In her first season at Baylor, she led the Lady Bears program to its first NCAA tournament bid; the Lady Bears have gone to postseason play every year since Mulkey's arrival. They have won at least 20 games every year, and only once has the team lost more than 10 games in a season. The rise of the Baylor program under Mulkey was capped off in 2005 with a national title when the Bears defeated Michigan State in the championship game at Indianapolis. This made her the first woman to have won NCAA Division I basketball titles as a player and a head coach, and only the fourth person (after Joe B. Hall, Bob Knight and Dean Smith).

Since the inception of the NCAA women's tournament in 1982, Mulkey has been involved in that tournament as a player or coach every year except 1985 and 2003. She was enshrined in the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2000 for her accomplishments as a player.[12]

Mulkey in a postgame interview in 2006.

Mulkey in 2007 signed a 10-year extension to remain Baylor's coach. Her autobiography is called Won't Back Down: Teams, Dreams and Family.

In 2012, Mulkey made NCAA history by leading the Lady Bears to a perfect 40–0 season, the most wins in college basketball history, men or women. The season culminated at the NCAA Championship game in Denver, where the Lady Bears defeated Notre Dame.

In 2019, in a repeat of the 2012 NCAA Championship game, the Baylor Lady Bears defeated the Notre Dame Fighting Irish by a score of 82–81 in Tampa. This made Mulkey the third coach to win three or more NCAA Division I women's basketball championships, joining Connecticut's Geno Auriemma (11) and Tennessee's Pat Summitt (8).[13]

During the COVID-19 pandemic[edit]

Although the 2020 NCAA tournament was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Baylor made it to the Elite Eight of the 2021 tournament, held in an event isolation "bubble.” During the Elite Eight round, Mulkey advocated ending COVID-19 testing on the tournament players despite the ongoing pandemic. She stated during a press conference that the organization tasked with running the student tournament should "dump the COVID testing," despite not being asked about it by reporters.[14] She then stated more fully that, "Wouldn’t it be a shame to keep COVID testing, and then you got kids [testing] positive or something, and they don't get to play in the Final Four? So you need to just forget the COVID tests and let the four teams that are playing in each Final Four go battle it out."[15] Mulkey herself had tested positive for the virus earlier in the season,[14] and made the comments following her team's loss to UConn, a team that Baylor was supposed to face earlier in the season but was cancelled due to Mulkey's COVID diagnosis.[16] According to CBS News, her comments were later described by "many basketball fans" as "misinformed, dangerous and irresponsible."[17] Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma later defended Mulkey's comments,[18] stating that "This past year has shown us that there's a lot of difficult topics to talk about."[19]

Louisiana State University[edit]

Mulkey (foreground left) at the White House event celebrating the LSU Tigers winning the 2022–23 NCAA National Championship

After 21 seasons as the head coach at Baylor, Mulkey was announced as head coach at LSU on April 25, 2021.

On April 2, 2023, Mulkey won the NCAA National Championship for the first time as coach of LSU.[20]

Personal life[edit]

In 1987, Mulkey married Randy Robertson, whom she met at Louisiana Tech where he was the starting quarterback for the Bulldogs for the 1974 and 1975 seasons. The couple has two children together: son Kramer, a professional baseball player and collegiate All-American at Louisiana State University, and daughter Makenzie, who played both basketball and softball for Baylor. During her marriage to Robertson, she was known as Kim Mulkey-Robertson. Mulkey and Robertson divorced in 2006.[21]

Mulkey is known for her exuberant fashion worn during games.[22] She has said her style is inspired by Louisiana.[23] Mulkey often wears outfits by Queen of Sparkles. She gets styling assistance from Jennifer Roberts, LSU's director of Player personnel and influence.[23]

She spent her childhood in Tickfaw, Louisiana.

Head coaching record[edit]

Statistics overview
Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Baylor Lady Bears (Big 12 Conference) (2000–2021)
2000–01 Baylor 21–9 9–9 6th NCAA First Round
2001–02 Baylor 27–6 12–4 2nd NCAA Second Round
2002–03 Baylor 24–11 8–8 7th WNIT Runner-up
2003–04 Baylor 26–9 10–6 T–4th NCAA Sweet Sixteen
2004–05 Baylor 33–3 14–2 1st NCAA Champions
2005–06 Baylor 26–7 12–4 2nd NCAA Sweet Sixteen
2006–07 Baylor 26–8 11–5 3rd NCAA Second Round
2007–08 Baylor 25–7 12–4 2nd NCAA Second Round
2008–09 Baylor 29–6 12–4 2nd NCAA Sweet Sixteen
2009–10 Baylor 27–10 9–7 6th NCAA Final Four
2010–11 Baylor 34–3 15–1 1st NCAA Elite Eight
2011–12 Baylor 40–0 18–0 1st NCAA Champions
2012–13 Baylor 34–2 18–0 1st NCAA Sweet Sixteen
2013–14 Baylor 32–5 16–2 T-1st NCAA Elite Eight
2014–15 Baylor 33–4 16–2 1st NCAA Elite Eight
2015–16 Baylor 36–2 17–1 1st NCAA Elite Eight
2016–17 Baylor 33–4 17–1 1st NCAA Elite Eight
2017–18 Baylor 33–2 18–0 1st NCAA Sweet Sixteen
2018–19 Baylor 37–1 18–0 1st NCAA Champions
2019–20 Baylor 28–2 17–1 1st Postseason not held due to COVID-19
2020–21 Baylor 28–3 16–1 1st NCAA Elite Eight
Baylor: 632–104 (.859) 291–61 (.827)
LSU Tigers (Southeastern Conference) (2021–present)
2021–22 LSU 26–6 13–3 2nd NCAA Second Round
2022–23 LSU 34–2 15–1 2nd NCAA Champions
2023–24 LSU 23–4 10–3
LSU: 83–12 (.874) 38–7 (.844)
Total: 715–116 (.860)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion


National Championships[edit]

Year Opponent Score Record
2005 Michigan State Spartans 84–62 33–3
2012 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 80–61 40–0
2019 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 82–81 37–1
2023 Iowa Hawkeyes 102–85 34–2
National Championships 4

Awards and honors[edit]


  1. ^ "Women's Basketball Coaches Career". NCAA. Retrieved 24 Sep 2015.
  2. ^ "Lady Bears Take on N.C. State in NCAA Action". Archived from the original on May 24, 2011.
  3. ^ Rabalais, Scott (May 15, 2021). "Kim Mulkey on Hall of Fame journey: 'Incredibly honored,' being feminine but 'tough as hell,' more". The Advocate. Retrieved May 16, 2021.
  4. ^ Guilbeau, Glenn (May 15, 2021). "LSU coach Kim Mulkey gets Hammond, Tickfaw in Basketball Hall of Fame acceptance speech". Lafayette Daily Advertiser. Retrieved May 16, 2021.
  5. ^ Nagy, Zack (May 16, 2021). "LSU Women's Basketball Coach Kim Mulkey Inducted into Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved May 16, 2021.
  6. ^ The Village of Tickfaw later named the street along the east side of the schoolground Kim Mulkey Drive in her honor.
  7. ^ "Frances Pomeroy Naismith". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Archived from the original on 2014-07-15. Retrieved 30 Jun 2014.
  8. ^ "Ninth Pan American Games – 1983". USA Basketball. June 10, 2010. Archived from the original on 7 September 2015. Retrieved 15 October 2015.
  9. ^ "Ninth World Championship For Women – 1983". USA Basketball. June 10, 2010. Archived from the original on 5 September 2015. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  10. ^ "1984 WOMEN'S R. WILLIAM JONES CUP". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  11. ^ "Games of the XXIIIrd Olympiad – 1984". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on 13 October 2013. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  12. ^ "WBHOF Inductees". WBHOF. Archived from the original on 2017-12-06. Retrieved 2009-08-01.
  13. ^ "NCAA women's basketball championship: Baylor holds off Notre Dame, wins 3rd title". CNN. April 7, 2019.
  14. ^ a b Henry Bushnell (March 29, 2021). "Baylor's Kim Mulkey has wild March Madness take: 'Forget the COVID tests' at Final Four". Yahoo.
  15. ^ MICHAEL SHAPIRO (March 29, 2021). "Baylor Coach Kim Mulkey Says NCAA Should 'Dump' COVID-19 Testing for Final Four". Sports Illustrated.
  16. ^ "'Dump the COVID testing' | Baylor coach calls for end of COVID-19 testing at NCAA tournaments". WUSA9 CBS. Associated Press. March 29, 2021.
  17. ^ Shanna McCarriston (March 29, 2021). "NCAA Women's Tournament: Baylor coach Kim Mulkey shares controversial take on COVID-19 testing after loss". CBS.
  18. ^ Gardner, Steve. "UConn coach Geno Auriemma defends Baylor's Kim Mulkey for controversial COVID test comments". USA Today. Retrieved 2021-04-08.
  19. ^ "Auriemma: Context to Mulkey COVID remarks". 2021-03-31. Retrieved 2021-04-08.
  20. ^ "Hall of Famer Kim Mulkey Named LSU Women's Basketball Head Coach". LSU Tigers. 25 April 2021. Retrieved 2021-04-25.
  21. ^ "Baylor's Kim Mulkey is fierce, loving and loyal, but don't get on her bad side". Dallas Morning News. Archived from the original on 2018-12-29. Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  22. ^ "LSU Women's Basketball Coach Kim Mulkey Dons Outlandish Courtside Outfits on Road to Victory: See the Looks". Peoplemag. Retrieved 2023-09-02.
  23. ^ a b "Final Floral: Kim Mulkey debuts another eye-catching fit". Just Women's Sports. Retrieved 2023-09-02.
  24. ^ "Player Bio: Kim Mulkey :: Women's Basketball". Archived from the original on 2009-03-28. Retrieved 2007-03-19.
  25. ^ "Big 12 Record Book" (PDF) (Press release). Big 12 Sports. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-02-16. Retrieved 2008-02-10.
  26. ^ "Past Russell Athletic/WBCA National Coaches of the Year". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 30 Jun 2014.
  27. ^ a b "Kim Mulkey Bio – Baylor Official Athletic Site". Archived from the original on 2016-04-26. Retrieved 2016-04-20.
  28. ^ "Mulkey Named AP National Coach of the Year". 31 March 2022.

External links[edit]