LSU’s Mulkey authors greatest turnaround by first-year coach in SEC women’s basketball history

Kim Mulkey will take her team to The Bahamas this season. PHOTO BY LSU women's basketball sports information.

Given her proven track record as a winner, highlighted by three NCAA championships while at Baylor, Kim Mulkey has managed to do what some believe was the impossible in her first season at LSU.

Mulkey, who agreed to return to her native roots in Tickfaw, has guided LSU from a team that was 9-13 to 25-4 this season, finishing second to only top-ranked South Carolina in the Southeastern Conference standings.

The Tigers, who don’t play in the SEC Tournament until Friday at 6 p.m. in Nashville against either Kentucky or Mississippi State, enjoyed the greatest turnaround by a coach in her first season in league history with the caveat that the number could improve based on the team’s play in the postseason.

The 12.5 game improvement is based on the NCAA formula which takes wins differential and losses differential from one year to the next into account. Depending on how LSU fares in the postseason, the official improvement number will change.

Mulkey has led two of the greatest single season turnarounds by a first-year head coach at a school; first at Baylor and now at LSU.

NCAA DI First Year Head Coach Improvements [(Wins Diff. + Losses Diff.) / 2]

Coach                                                  School                         Improvement

Cynthia Cooper-Dykes                         Texas Southern           14.5

Brenda Oldfield                                   Minnesota                   13

Kim Mulkey                                         Baylor                          12.5

Katie Abrahamson-Henderson           UCF                             12.5

Kim Mulkey                                         LSU                              12.5*

Nate Kilbert                                         Ark.-Pine Bluff             11.5

Michelle Clark-Heard                          Western Kentucky      11.5

Todd Starkey                                       Kent St.                       11.5

*Is active and will change depending on postseason outcomes

LSU was to finish eighth in the SEC during a preseason prediction from the league’s coaches.

The Tigers, no matters what transpires at the SEC Tournament this week, are also expected to host first-and second round games in the NCAA Tournament of the top 16 seeds in the field, marking the first time since 2014.

LSU’s 25-win total, which includes six over ranked teams, is the most since the 2007-08 season.

2 Comments

  1. When I saw the pre-season predictions of supposedly knowledgeable coaches, I chuckled. My thought was “what planet have they been living on for the last 10 years?”

  2. why coach Mulkey did not garner the SEC coach of the year? Look what she has done? Coach Staley already had the players on roster to win the league. Poor decision

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