BATON ROUGE — If hiring Kim Mulkey at LSU isn't "speaking it into existence," I don't know what is.
Monday LSU welcomed the Hammond native home and the three-time champion head coach didn't disappoint her fans.
“I’mma take this damn mask off," she said flinging her mask across stage. "Because I have a lot to say.”
Those were the first words Mulkey said as she began her introduction. At the podium she touched on all her greatest hits, her viral moment at the NCAA Tournament where she struggled to keep her mask on, her love for Louisiana strawberries, and her relationship with former LSU baseball player Kramer Robertson. (She's his mom)
Mulkey's intentions during her introduction were clear, she wanted the fans inside the Pete Maravich Center to know she was one of them.
"You think I'm being funny but it's the God's truth," she said. "I miss my food from Louisiana. I can now tell Boudreaux and Thibodeaux jokes and people don't look at me like I've lost my mind. Thank you again for bringing me back home."
Mulkey left Baylor after 21 seasons where she won three national championships. The good, however, comes with some bad.
In 2017, in the wake of the Baylor's sexual assault scandal, Mulkey criticized opponents of the school saying, "If somebody around you and they say, 'I will never send my daughter to Baylor,' you knock them right in the face." She told that to fans after winning her 500th game. She'd later walked those comments back.
In 2018, former star Brittany Griner criticized Mulkey for forcing players to hide their sexuality, telling ESPN that Mulkey believed it was a bad look for Baylor.
This spring Mulkey came under fire when she said the NCAA should stop COVID testing at both the men's and women's basketball tournaments. "Wouldn't it be a shame to keep COVID testing and then you got kids that test positive or something and they don't get to play in the Final Four?" she said.
But that's all water under the bridge for Mulkey who begins her next chapter in her home state, at a school who's embattled a bit like herself. As she seems to see it, she's here as a knight in shining armor with a few goals that include hanging banners in the rafters.
"You know what it feels like to win championships. You know what it means to a community and a state when you're a winning program. I know what it means. I didn't just come here to win championships, I came here to make an impact at the right time to an institution that needs something really positive."
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