Da Boot Sports
By: Terrill J. Weil
BATON ROUGE, LA - Kim Mulkey was honored on Thursday as the AP Women's National Basketball Coach of the Year. It is the third time she has won the award. Only two other coaches in NCAA history have won the honor three times.
She took over a Lady Tigers team that went 9-13 the season before and went 26-6 during her first season, winning their most games since the 2007-08 season. They finished 2nd in the SEC and ended up ranked #9 in the final AP Poll of the season. LSU was 6-1 against ranked opponents in Coach Mulkey’s debut season and the Tigers hosted March Madness games as a #3 seed in the NCAA Tournament, winning their first NCAA Tournament game since 2014 before falling to Ohio State in the second round.
"I'm certainly honored to be in that group." Mulkey said. "This doesn't happen without players who allow you to coach them and buy into a system. We had a really, really good year. You make goals that are realistic such as having a winning season," she said. "Beat your first ranked team, we're going to celebrate that. In conference if we finish in the top half of SEC, we can then potentially get to the NCAA tournament. It sounds so simple, but you have to crawl before you can walk and have to walk before you can run. We were just realistic. I can't name all the things that the team did this year, but it was unbelievable. We were not supposed to do what we did in a year. That's hard to do. This bunch jump-started this program again." Mulkey said. “It gave everybody an interest, and I’m forever grateful to them. Forever.”