LSU first-year coach Mulkey one of 15 coaches named to national award watch list

PHOTO BY: Johnathan Mailes

First-year LSU women’s basketball coach Kim Mulkey was named as one of 15 coaches on the Watch List for the Naismith National Coach of the Year as in her first year at LSU she has led the Tigers to their best regular season in 15 years.

The Hammond native is a member of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and was hired to come home to Louisiana in April, taking over a team that won nine games last year. With four games remaining in the regular season LSU is 21-4 (9-3 SEC). In her 22nd season as a head coach, Mulkey has won at least 20 games every year and in her first year at LSU she has led the Tigers to their most regular season victories since the 2007-08 season.

Mulkey has reinvigorated the LSU women’s basketball program and has the Tigers in a position where they control their own destiny. After being picked in the preseason to finish No. 8 in the SEC, LSU has the opportunity to finish as high as No. 2 in the nation’s most competitive conference. The Tigers are also in position to earn one of the Top-16 seeds in the NCAA Tournament which would allow them to host first and second round games inside the PMAC.

Mulkey became the fast DI head coach in men’s or women’s history to reach 650 career wins, needing only 758 games to do so. The most successful player-turned-coach in men’s or women’s history, Coach Mulkey is the only person to ever win NCAA National Championships as a player, assistant coach and head coach. She is an eight-time National Coach of the Year.

Naismith Women’s College Coach of the Year Watchlist

Jennie Baranczyk – Oklahoma

Adia Barnes – Arizona

Kim Barnes-Arico – Michigan

Bill Fennelly – Iowa State

Kelly Rae Finley – Florida

Nell Fortner – Georgia Tech

Kellie Harper – Tennessee

Jeff Judkins – BYU

Wes Moore – NC State

Teri Moren – Indiana

Kim Mulkey – LSU

Karl Smesko – FGCU

Dawn Staley – South Carolina

Tara VanDerveer – Stanford

Jeff Walz – Louisville

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