The high profile hire became a blockbuster event and celebration, but was not without controversy.
The Kim Mulkey hiring is the biggest hire in the history of women’s basketball.
Mulkey is one of just three coaches with three or more national titles. Her hire is a blockbuster event.
So too was her introduction to the university.
The introduction featured thousands of LSU fans in the PMAC, one of the first big events at LSU since COVID started.
Before Mulkey was introduced, flames were shot up like it was a gymnastics meet.
Mulkey made very clear her top reason for coming to LSU was to come home. Mulkey is from Tickfaw, Louisiana and emphasized her Tangipahoa roots.
“I came back to my home state,” Mulkey said. “If you have followed my career, I’ve said it numerous times: No matter where I go to coach, no matter where my career takes me, Louisiana is my home.”
While Mulkey started humbly, her current situation is anything but humble. She was one of the highest paid coaches in women’s basketball with only Geno Auriemma at UConn making more.
It is possible that LSU will make her the highest paid women’s basketball coach ever once all the contract details are revealed.
Still, that might be the price of winning. Winning is something Mulkey does. At point she pointed to LSU’s five women’s basketball Final Four banners to make a point.
“Nowhere there does it say ‘National Champion,’” she stated. “That’s what I came here to do.”
However, that is not without hedging her bets.
While her goal is to ultimately bring LSU its first title in a women’s sport outside of track and field, she knows it will take time.
“Be patient,” she implored. “Understand it will not happen overnight.”
She also credited many of LSU’s current and former coaches for bringing her home.
D-D Breaux got the most credit and has pushed Mulkey to come over the last week. Breaux, like Mulkey, is from Louisiana and has poured her heart into LSU athletics.
Paul Mainieri also got a shoutout for coaching Mulkey’s son, Kramer Robertson, on the LSU baseball team. Mulkey was a mainstay in the crowd during Kramer’s time here.
“You took a cocky little boy and made him a man,” Mulkey said while holding back tears. “For that, I am grateful.”
Perhaps, the most noticeable moment had nothing to do with the blockbuster hire and more to do with the global pandemic.
At the start of the press conference, Mulkey threw her mask off.
“I am going to take this damn mask off because I have a lot to say,” she said.
For a coach who has a reputation of sticking her foot in her mouth, it was a low point.
Just a few weeks earlier, Mulkey made headlines for pushing to not test players during the pandemic. In January, she even got COVID-19. It was a weird moment to be dismissive of it. Ultimately, that will not define her career at LSU.
Wins and losses will decide her legacy.