Where did Kim Mulkey play college basketball? Revisiting LSU coach’s legendary NCAA playing career


Fans likely know Kim Mulkey for her coaching career. Mulkey is among the best college coaches of all-time, winning national championships at both Baylor and LSU. 

Perhaps they also know her because of her extravagant outfit choices or her off-court controversies. Most fans probably don’t know her for her dominant playing career.

Like many coaches, Mulkey played basketball before trading in her sneakers for a clipboard. Her knowledge and ability to read the game comes from real-life experience. It’s a component of coaching that not everyone has.

Mulkey’s aforementioned success as a coach isn’t the first time she’s been a part of major collegiate basketball celebrations. She first experienced how to win from a player’s perspective.

Where did Mulkey play college hoops? Here’s a breakdown of her playing days before her exceptional coaching career began.

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Where did Kim Mulkey play college basketball?

Mulkey played college basketball at Louisiana Tech from 1980-1984.

She wasn’t just an average player either. Mulkey won the inaugural NCAA Tournament in 1982, a year after winning the 1981 AIAW Tournament.

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She averaged 6.38 assists and 1.56 steals per game in her time at Tech, according to Baylor athletics. Mulkey was also the recipient of the inaugural women’s Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award in her senior year.

During her collegiate career, she also won gold for the United States in the 1983 Pan American Games and 1984 Olympics.

Her success as a player began well before college hoops, too. Mulkey won four straight high school state championships in Louisiana with an overall record of 136-5. She finished with 4,075 points, which was the second most in girls basketball history at the time.

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Kim Mulkey coaching timeline

While many new women’s hoops fans know Mulkey as LSU’s coach, that’s most likely not how she’ll be remembered in history.

LSU hired Mulkey in 2021, and the Hall of Fame coach delivered a national championship in 2023. But she was a Hall of Famer before accepting the position.

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Mulkey will likely be remembered for her accomplishments while at Baylor. She won three national championships (2005, 2012 and 2019), while winning two AP College Basketball Coach of the Year awards (2012 and 2019).

She started at Baylor in 2000 after spending time on Louisiana Tech’s sideline as an assistant (1985-1996) and associate head coach (1996-2000).

Mulkey was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame as a part of the 2020 class. She entered the Hall alongside NBA legends Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett and WNBA legend Tamika Catchings.

She’s won four national championships while on the sideline, six total counting her playing career, and won three AP Coach of the Year awards — two with Baylor and one with LSU. Mulkey’s coaching record is 720-117, which is an 86% win percentage.

Team Role Years
Louisiana Tech Assistant coach 1985-1996
Louisiana Tech Associate head coach 1996-2000
Baylor Head coach 2020-2021
LSU Head coach 2021-Present

LSU NCAA Tournament schedule

No. 3 LSU continues its title defense against No. 1 Iowa in a rematch of last year’s NCAA Championship game. The two teams play in the Elite Eight on Monday, April 1 at 7 p.m. ET.


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