LSU Coach Kim Mulkey: A Closer Look at Family and Player Disputes

LSU's Kim Mulkey faces scrutiny amidst media controversy.

by Nouman Rasool
LSU Coach Kim Mulkey: A Closer Look at Family and Player Disputes
© Sarah Stier/Getty Images

In the hours leading up to LSU's pivotal Sweet 16 game against UCLA, The Washington Post unveiled an in-depth profile on LSU's head coach, Kim Mulkey. This comprehensive article delves into the multifaceted personality of Mulkey, highlighting her unmatched dedication and loyalty, traits that have occasionally led to strained relationships with family members and influenced her unique coaching approach.

Growing up in the quiet expanse of rural Louisiana, Mulkey's early life, including her estrangement from her father and sister, frames the story of a woman whose life is as complex as her career. Her coaching style, marked by its intensity and demand for loyalty, is scrutinized in the piece, alongside her handling of controversies, notably her interactions with gay players such as Brittney Griner, who faced a prolonged detention in Russia in 2022.

Caught off guard by the publication's timing, Mulkey expressed her surprise and skepticism to ESPN's Holly Rowe before the UCLA match, questioning the motive behind the release's timing. Despite the distraction, LSU clinched a 78-69 victory, with Mulkey later stating she hadn't read the article and might leave it to her legal team to review.

Mulkey's Defiant Stand

The anticipation around The Washington Post's feature escalated after Mulkey's pre-emptive threat of legal action against the paper, accusing reporter Kent Babb of attempting to assemble a "hit piece." Mulkey's defiance highlighted in a previous news conference emphasized her readiness to challenge the narrative being crafted around her.

The article itself presents a tapestry of Mulkey's interactions, from her coaching accolades to the personal dynamics within her family and team. Former players and associates provide a nuanced view of Mulkey's character, balancing criticism with acknowledgment of her coaching prowess.

Mulkey's refusal to publicly support Griner during her detention in Russia was a focal point, underscoring the complexities of her relationships with former players. Despite the controversies, the portrait of Mulkey that emerges from The Washington Post's profile is not monolithically negative.

It showcases a coach driven by a relentless pursuit of excellence, a trait that has brought her unparalleled success on the court, including a historic tenure at Baylor and a promising start at LSU. As Mulkey continues to navigate the challenges of her high-profile position, the narrative around her leadership and personal life remains a topic of intense interest and debate.