LSU’s Mulkey a finalist for prestigious Naismith award

LSU's third-year coach Kim Mulkey has her Tigers ranked No. 1 in AP's preseason Top 25. PHOTO BY: Jonathan Mailhes

LSU’s Kim Mulkey is one of four finalists for the Naismith National Coach of the Year, leading the Tigers to great success during her first season in Baton Rouge.

The other finalists are Wes Moore (NC State), Dawn Staley (South Carolina) and Tara VanDerveer (Stanford).

LSU’s (26-5) enjoyed its best season in 14 years and are playing Monday night in the PMAC at 7 p.m. against Ohio State for an opportunity to go to their first Sweet Sixteen since 2014. Tickets are on sale and Coach Mulkey has bought tickets all of the student tickets for LSU students to be able to attend the game for free.

Mulkey, which inherited a team that went 9-13 last season, led the greatest single season turnaround by a first-year head coach in SEC history, a team that went 25-4 during the regular season.

In her 22nd season as a head coach, Mulkey has won at least 20 games every year. On Saturday she kept a streak alive; Mulkey hasn’t lost a NCAA first round game since her first year as a head coach at Baylor in 2000-01.

Earlier this season, Coach Mulkey won her 650th career game, becoming the fastest coach in men’s or women’s history to reach that milestone.

This year fans will have a say in the determining the winner.  Starting March 22 fans can visit or on Twitter (@MarchMadnessWBB and @naismithtrophy) to cast their ballot. Voting ends at 6 p.m. EDT on March 29 and fans are limited to one vote per day.  The fan vote will account for 5% of the total vote.

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