The rumors were true: after 21 seasons in Waco wherein she racked up an unfathomable 631-104 record with just 8 conference losses since 2010, 3 National Championships (2005, 2012, and 2019), 11 straight Big 12 Championships, and 17 straight NCAA Tournament appearances (and 19 of 20 possible appearances, overall), the Kim Mulkey Era at Baylor is over. She is headed home to Louisiana to take over the LSU WBB program. She leaves Baylor having been the AP Basketball Coach of the Year twice, the Big 12 Coach of the Year seven times, and, by virtually every measure I can think of, the most successful coach in Baylor history in any sport, men’s or women’s. Baylor has now confirmed the news in a Tweet sent out while I was writing this post:
Kim Mulkey is the only Baylor WBB coach I’ve ever known. For all intents and purposes, she built this program from the ground up and, following an era of essentially unmitigated disaster in football and basketball, won a National Championship when nobody thought that was going to be possible in Waco (in those sports). More than anyone else, she showed that success was attainable at Baylor and you did not have to go elsewhere to build a dynasty. Speaking only for myself, I cannot thank her enough for what she did here, the impact she had on the University that I love, and the foundation she is leaving behind.
The amount of speculation, rumors, and accusations flying around the various message boards right now is fairly incredible, and I have no intention of repeating it here or adding to that in any way. Whatever happened, happened and what is done, is done. These things are hardly ever pretty, particularly after so long and complicated a “marriage,” and I can’t think of a single time I’ve seen a coach leave for anything other than retirement with everyone thrilled by the outcome or how it all went down. All I’ll say now is that I wish her and her family well going forward and will keep an eye on LSU in WBB going forward, because I’m going to bet she does fairly well given success is basically all she’s ever known.
Considering we haven’t seen a coaching search in basketball since before many of our current students were even born, how long the search for Mulkey’s successor may take is impossible to know. But as we hear anything about possible candidates or even a potential hire, we will certainly let you know.