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Kim Mulkey - Naismith HOF

 
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TechDawgMc



Joined: 12 Aug 2010
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Location: Temple, TX


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PostPosted: 04/06/20 12:34 pm    ::: Kim Mulkey - Naismith HOF Reply Reply with quote

If the fall of 1980, I was entering my sophomore year at La. Tech. That year three really talented freshmen joined a very good Lady Techster basketball team. One of them was Kim Mulkey.

My first impression of Mulkey was probably mostly about her being short and, of course, the pigtails. In truth, Tech had a very good returning starting at PG in Jennifer White (only a sophomore) which made the field rather crowded. White was extroverted and flashy, Kim was more introverted and steady. So Kim wasn't really the crowd favorite. Though it was obvious that Barmore was already seeing something in her.

I didn't really appreciate Kim's talent until the year after she graduated. It's kind of backwards, but it has to do with E. J. Lee at Northeast Louisiana. She got all kinds of attention but I didn't think she was very good. I had always seen her matched against Kim, though. It wasn't until I saw Lee totally abuse a young freshman named Teresa Weatherspoon that I realized just how good Kim was on defense.

Kim probably should have been an AA at least her senior year but playing with the amount of talent Tech had, it was hard to get noticed.

Kim moved into the assistant role at Tech and stayed a while, learning her trade from Barmore and learning it well. One thing that's clear about Kim is that she can push players to get better. Not everyone fits her style (just like not everyone fit Leon's) but those that respond well to being pushed hard usually get better and smarter.

Kim's introverted personality didn't make her that popular at Tech. With people like Nell Fortner coming through the assistant's chair, she tended to get overshadowed. She turned down a few small schools and stayed loyal. I think she expected to take over from Barmore one day and was waiting it out (I won't get into that fiasco)

I started PhD work at Baylor in 1995, right after they hired Hogg. I thought that connection was a bit ironic, but was really surprised when Kim arrived in 2000. Whatever mess may have caused her to leave Ruston for Waco, I think she made the right choice. She might have taken that immediate Tech team to a championship with the likes of Sheila Lambert and Sophia Young, but after that, the weight of numbers (read that money) would have overwhelmed her. Tech was not going to remain a superpower no matter who coached.

I won't say much about the BU years other than that I still think the first national championship was her best work. There's no way that team should have beaten LSU in the FF, but they did it and made it look easy (after the first five minutes anyway). There have been a few ugly losses in the tourney, but that win carries a lot of weight for me. The other really impressive single game was their defensive performance against Oregon last year, but that was a top-notch team beating a top-notch team.

I'm not sure exactly when Tech pushed Hogg out compared to when Kim became an assistant, but at least for a brief time (possibly just a month or two), Tech had four national championship winning coaches on its staff at once (Hogg, Barmore, Blair and Mulkey). They're all there in the same year anyway.

If you've read this far, I'm impressed. Just a few personal thoughts about a HOFer that I've had the chance to see for quite a few years now.


Howee



Joined: 27 Nov 2009
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Location: OREGON (in my heart)


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PostPosted: 04/06/20 2:46 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Yes, I finished the tribute. Interesting insights, especially to those of us who didn't follow the game 'back then'.

I'm glad for her--despite those who (still!) find her unpopular, her body of work speaks for itself.

I'm also glad she became more of an extrovert--she's been quite entertaining over the years I've followed her. Razz



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PostPosted: 04/06/20 4:25 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

She's a good coach, I will give her that. I did not like her as a player, I don't care for her now. (And I still question her fashion and makeup choices. I actually saw a short interview with her where she didn't have makeup on and she looked BETTER!)



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ucbart



Joined: 21 Nov 2004
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PostPosted: 04/06/20 5:36 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

I've grown to like Kim over the years. She is a great recruiter and she can coach as well. Congrats to her. She certainly has devoted her life to the game and the growth of it.


taropatch



Joined: 24 Feb 2009
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PostPosted: 05/02/20 3:58 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Interview with LaTech AD. In the background, some old LaTech hoops footage.

https://www.facebook.com/LATechAthletics/videos/535122280764466/?v=535122280764466



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PUmatty



Joined: 10 Nov 2004
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PostPosted: 05/02/20 10:46 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Anyone who voluntarily coaches at Baylor should be a pariah in a sport that is home to so many queer players, coaches, and fans.


cthskzfn



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PostPosted: 05/02/20 11:24 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

thanks for sharing your perspective, techdawg.

Kim's never bothered me, but I never knew her as a player. I HAVE watched footage over the years. I know her as a coach.

She's had a couple of bad losses. I blame the refs more than her for the Louisville loss, in spite of that last minute meltdown. The other tournament loss- I can't remember to whom- I DO remember hearing the news in the car on the way back from a UConn regional game and being stunned and happy.

I was rooting for Mich St in '05 because I'd seen them in person 3x that year and really, really liked them. (Who knew their coach would become a bit of a pariah not too long afterward).

Kim's certainly worthy of the honor.



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CBiebel



Joined: 23 Dec 2004
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PostPosted: 05/03/20 5:39 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

She's won a NC as a player, an assistant and a head coach. She's won 3 NCs as a head coach (I really wish it was McGraw, but so close...)

Can't argue with her deserving a HOF induction.


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