Sources have confirmed to Tiger Rag that Louisiana native Kim Mulkey, who has coached Baylor University to three NCAA national championships and who has averaged 30 wins per season in 21 years guiding the Lady Bears, has agreed to become LSU’s next women’s basketball coach.
Unless something happens between now and Monday, the announcement of her hiring will be made at 5 p.m. press conference Monday afternoon. Mulkey is replacing Nikki Fargas, who officially resigned Saturday.
Mulkey, 58, a native of Tickfaw, won four state championships as a player for Hammond (La.) High, then won two national championships as a feisty starting point guard for the Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters.
She also won a gold medal on the U.S.A. team in the 1984 Olympics and was an assistant coach for Louisiana Tech’s 1988 NCAA title team.
Meanwhile on Saturday, LSU finally officially announced Fargas, the second-winningest coach in LSU women’s basketball history, had stepped down to pursue another opportunity. She reportedly will be named president of the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces.
In 10 years as head coach of the Tigers, Fargas guided LSU to five 20-win seasons and six NCAA Tournament appearances. LSU would have made a seventh NCAA Tournament appearance in 2019-20 had the season not been cut short due to COVID-19. Her LSU record ends at 177-129, ranking her behind only Hall of Fame coach Sue Gunter for most victories in school history.
“I will be forever grateful for the opportunity that I had to serve as LSU’s women’s basketball coach,” Fargas said. “It was a tremendous honor to represent LSU and the wonderful people on this campus and community. I can’t express how thankful I am to have coached the wonderful young women in our program, student-athletes who were dedicated and committed to having success on the court and in the classroom.
“I had a great staff, wonderful people that always put our players first and made tremendous sacrifices to better our program. We always had the support of the athletic administration. They gave us everything that we needed to be successful. LSU is a great place and I leave with many wonderful memories. I will forever be a LSU Tiger.”
Under Fargas, every Tiger that spent their entire career at LSU went on to earn their college degree and LSU recorded a 100 percent in the NCAA Graduation Success Rate three times under Fargas.
“I can’t thank Nikki enough for the job she has done at LSU, not only as our head women’s basketball coach, but also as a mentor to the young women on her team and many other student-athletes on our campus,” said Scott Woodward, LSU’s athletics director.
“She’s a shining example of doing things the right way and she’s helped mold and inspire her team to understand the value of an education, community involvement and using their platform to make a difference. Nikki’s legacy at LSU will go far beyond the basketball court. I wish her, her husband Justin and their daughter Justice nothing but continued success in their next endeavor.”