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LSU Board of Supervisors' Mary L. Werner, left, reacts as new women's basketball head coach Kim Mulkey holds aloft the basketball 'Win!' bar just presented to her by Werner, at a welcoming press conference at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center, Monday, April 26, 2021.

Kim Mulkey's introductory press conference in her new role as LSU's women's basketball coach had a bit of everything, and of course that included food.

A day after the news broke that the Hall-of-Fame coach would be departing Baylor to return to her native Louisiana, she stood in front of a crowd at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center ready to welcome her with cheers, laughter and applause.

Mulkey, a native of Tickfaw, repeatedly thanked those in attendance for bringing her back home, but not before shouting out her "Tangipahoa Parish people," pulling off her LSU mask and tossing it to the side "because I have a lot to say," and announcing that "first of all, Kramer [Robertson]'s mom has come home.

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A few other things Louisiana elements stood out in Mulkey's speech. Scroll below for a handful of the top moments from the Pete Maravich Assembly Center this afternoon.

 


I MISS MY FOOD

"I can't wait to have some Ponchatoula strawberries. I can't wait to have some crawfish.

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"You think I'm being funny but it's the God's truth: I miss my food from Louisiana. I can now tell Boudreaux and Thibodaux jokes and people don't look at me like I've lost my mind. Thank you again for bringing me back home."


THANK YOUS & SELLING ICE TO AN ESKIMO

Mulkey thanked several of the members of the audience specifically, including legendary former LSU gymnastics coach D-D Breaux, baseball coach Paul Mainieri and Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards.

"D-D Breaux could sell ice to an Eskimo. Thank you D-D."

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Mulkey then looked to Mainieri with tears welling in her eyes, thanking him for what he did as coach for her son, former Tigers shortstop Kramer Robertson.

"You took a cocky little boy and made him a man. And to you I'm forever grateful."

Next, Mulkey returned to her deadpan humor to address Gov. Edwards.

"I'd like to talk about Gov. John Bel Edwards. John Bel is not as good looking as his daddy, Frank, was," Mulkey jokes before speaking about their shared roots in Tangipahoa Parish. "When you grow up, you don't forget where you come from ... because that parish made us who we were. This state made us who we were. I appreciate you being here. I appreciate what you mean to the state of Louisiana."


THANK YOU AGAIN

Mulkey said it in many ways, but the central theme of her introductory press conference was one of gratitude.

"Have I said lately? It's good to be back home," Mulkey said to applause from the crowd.

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"When I left North Louisiana, in Ruston 21 years ago, I took a job in Waco and I was on a mission -- my very first head coaching job. ... I had many opportunities to leave [Baylor], and this is the only one that could get me to leave. Thank you again for bringing me back home."


WINNING CHAMPIONSHIPS? 'THAT'S WHAT I CAME HERE TO DO'

At one point during her press conference Mulkey as the current member of LSU's roster to stand, then pointed to the Final Four banners above their heads. What was missing? A banner that had the words "national champion." 

"You see those banners behind you right there? Final Four, Final Four, Final Four, Final Four. Nowhere on there does it say 'national champion.' That's what I came here to do," Mulkey said. "You may be seated. I like them already."

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But Mulkey made sure to address the fans with an important message.

"And talking about national championships -- it doesn't happen overnight," Mulkey cautioned. "Let me remind you rabid LSU fans that can be crazy and want coaches fired tomorrow, give it time. But I can assure you, that's what I came here to do."


AS ED O SAYS: 'GEAUX TIGAHS'

LSU is no stranger than larger-than-life personalities leading its teams, and Mulkey channeled her inner Ed Orgeron to end her speech on Monday.

"Thank you for bringing me home. Thank you for trusting in my abilities," Mulkey said before dropping her voice several octaves for the next sentence.

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"And as Coach O says, 'Geaux Tigahs.'"

If that last bit sounded well-practiced, that's because it was. She showed off the impression of LSU's champion football coach when they met on-campus earlier in the day.

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MORE KIM MULKEY COVERAGE

Can't see the links? Click here. 

Mike the Tiger, LSU AD Scott Woodward, LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri and men's basketball coach Will Wade, among others, were all on hand to welcome Kim Mulkey as she officially arrived in Baton Rouge to take over as LSU's new women's basketball coach.

Email Jeff Nowak at jnowak@theadvocate.com

Twitter: @Jeff_Nowak