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Former Lady Bear Brittney Griner On Kim Mulkey: “I Don’t Think She Gets The Credit She Deserves”

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It has been 19 years since Lady Bears coach Kim Mulkey took over the Baylor program after posting a 7-20 record following the 1999-2000 season. In her first year at the helm, she was able to take a team that was dead last in the Big 12 conference the year before, into an NCAA tournament appearance with a 21–9 record overall and 9-7 in conference play. However, the Lady Bears would be eliminated in the first round by Arkansas.

The following season bear improved across the board making it to the second of the tourney after posting a 27-6 overall record and a 12-4 in the conference but was upset by Drake University. After a year hiatus away from the big dance, Baylor would return to play in the Sweet Sixteen during the 2003–2004 season, but the Tennessee Volunteers dashed their hopes of advancing to the Elite Eight.

During the 2004- 2005 season Mulkey and the Baylor Bears were able to win it all behind the active play by Sophia Young, who would later be named the Most Outstanding Player. After capturing her first NCAA championship as a coach, Mulkey became the fourth former player to win a championship as a player and coach the others were Joe B. Hall, Bob Knight, and Dean Smith.

Mulkey would return to the winning circle in 2012 by running the table going undefeated behind the outstanding play of Brittney Griner, who would leave Baylor after her senior year. In 2019 Baylor would capture its third title after knocking off the defending champs the Irish of Notre Dame. With the victory, Mulkey joined the likes of  Connecticut’s Geno Auriemma, and Tennessee’s Pat Summitt to win three or more NCAA Division I women’s basketball championships, although Mulkey is one of three coaches to win multiple championships at with the Lady Bears, former AP Player of the Year, Brittney Griner, who now is a member of the Phoenix Mercury. Doesn’t feel her former coach get enough credit as a collegiate coach in comparison to her peers.

“I don’t think she gets as much credit as she deserves. I don’t know if it is because we are a smaller school or what is, but people are going to start paying attention. I think we have won the Big 12 conference, and it started when we were there. I think it’s ten straight. That is an accomplishment that needs to be talked about more. What she is doing there along with Bill Brock, Jennifer Roberts and everyone on the staff doesn’t get enough credit, said Griner on Saturday night after a 70-66 victory against the Dallas Wings.

 

The Lady Bears are getting ready to defend their championship this upcoming season.

 

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