LSU women's basketball has a new coach, but she's very familiar.
Legendary Baylor head coach and Louisiana native Kim Mulkey will depart her longtime post in Waco, Texas and take over Tigers women's basketball after the departure of Nikki Fargas.
The school confirmed the hire Sunday afternoon with the words: "Welcome home."
Mulkey is no stranger to Louisiana despite more than two decades coaching across the border. Here are five things to know about Mulkey as LSU prepares for a new coaching era.
FROM TICKFAW TO TECH
Kim Mulkey was born in California, but her game grew up in Louisiana. The basketball legend was raised in Tickfaw and starred at nearby Hammond High School, where she helped lead the program to four consecutive state championships before graduating as valedictorian.
In 1980 Mulkey, now 58, began her college playing career at Louisiana Tech. Success came early and often, finishing off her four years with a record of 130-6. The Lady Techsters won the AIAW championship in her freshman year, and the inaugural NCAA Tournament a year later.
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Mulkey later coached at Louisiana Tech for 15 seasons, beginning as an assistant before becoming associate head coach under Leon Barmore.
Tech went 403-63 during that span, winning another national championship and reaching the Final Four seven times.
Mulkey's head coaching career began at Baylor in 2000 and her winning ways never wavered. Under Mulkey the Bears have qualified for the NCAA Tournament in all but one season — excluding the 2020 tournament that was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic — and have reached the Elite Eight or better nine times.
Baylor has won the NCAA tournament three times during that span, the first coming in the 2004-05 season. The Bears' second title came along with a perfect 40-0 record in the 2011-12 season, and their most recent came in the 2018-19 season with a 37-1 record.
Mulkey's 632 wins as a head coach ranks 59th in NCAA women's basketball history, but other marks better illustrate just how dominant that run truly was. With just 104 losses in that span, her career winning percentage of .859 is second only to UConn's Geno Auriemma among those ahead of her on the list.
In 2020, Mulkey became the fastest-ever NCAA coach (men or women) to reach 600 wins. She hit that mark in her 700th game, 16 faster than Auriemma and four games faster than Adolph Rupp, who holds that record on the men's side.
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ALREADY A HALL-OF-FAMER
Mulkey's career is far from over, but it will be immortalized regardless of what happens from here. Mulkey was part of the nine-member class inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2020, and Mulkey remains the only person in NCAA history to win national championships as a player, assistant coach and head coach.
Other members of that class included Kobe Bryant, who died in a tragic helicopter crash earlier that year, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Rudy Tomjanovich, Tamika Catchings, Eddie Sutton, Barbara Stevens and Patrick Baumann.
KIM MULKEY DRIVE ... IT'S A PLACE
Kim Mulkey's drive has led her to success, but Kim Mulkey Drive is an address.
Yes, the Village of Tickfaw named a street in her honor — among other celebrations — upon her return from the 1984 Olympics where she helped lead Team USA to a gold medal.
"I even remember cutting a ribbon at the opening of a McDonald's restaurant, with Ronald McDonald standing next to me — a child's dream come true," Mulkey shared in her biography.
If you were wondering, the speed limit on Kim Mulkey Drive is 15 miles per hour.
KIM & KRAMER
If you turned on a broadcast of LSU baseball from 2014-17, there was a good chance you at least heard Kim Mulkey's name. You might have even seen her sitting in the stands.
That's because her son, Kramer Robertson, was a star shortstop for the Tigers during that span, helping lead LSU to the 2017 College World Series. Robertson was drafted in the 4th round by the St. Louis Cardinals and is currently in their minor league system.
After the announcement that his mother had been officially hired at his alma mater, Robertson revealed a struggle he'd faced.
Hardest secret I’ve ever had to keep in my life... GEAUX TIGERS!!! https://t.co/Wfn9rhqwR3— Kramer Robertson (@KramerR3) April 25, 2021
"Hardest secret I’ve ever had to keep in my life...," he posted to Twitter, along with a "GEAUX TIGERS!!!"
Kramer's older sister, Makenzie Fuller, was also a star athlete and played softball and basketball at Baylor from 2010-2014 and spent the past five years as a member of the Baylor coaching staff alongside her mother.