Kim Mulkey’s NCAA Title celebrated in Waco

Published: Apr. 21, 2023 at 3:06 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - On Thursday night at George’s on Hewitt, the back patio was filled with good times and old friends reminiscing on good memories.

The longtime former Baylor basketball coach, Kim Mulkey, and many of her friends and family from her Waco days got together to celebrate her recent NCAA title at LSU.

“You don’t live in a place for 21 years without having lifelong friendships,” said Mulkey. “And for them to want to do something, not just for me, but my staff that’s connected to Waco, it lets you know what friendship means.”

Mulkey has done the improbable, winning the NCAA tournament in just her second year in Baton Rouge. She recognized her LSU staff, which is made up of more than several people who all got their start in Waco.

“Born and raised in Waco, went to elementary school here in Waco, and then went to Vanguard here in Waco,” said Joe Schwartz, the Assistant Director of Operations of LSU basketball. “Have a lot of friends and family here in Waco, so it’s just nice to be back for a few days.”

Jordin Westbrook, the Director of Ops. and special assistant to Mulkey, was also happy to be back in Waco.

“I was lucky enough to be a two-time Baylor grad, so I still love Baylor,” said Westbrook. “It’s just been a fun atmosphere, so they’re excited to see us succeed.”

The Tiger’s strength and conditioning coach, Tyler Lene, was also happy to celebrate the title win in a place where he got his career rolling.

“I went to Midway high school and even went to Baylor itself,” said Lene. “Got two degrees from (Baylor) and got hired on with Mulkey. She saw in me and I worked hard and she identified those things early on.”

There’s no doubt that Mulkey knows how to win. She’s now the third winningest coach in women’s college hoops history with four National Championship wins. Mulkey said she didn’t just win this title for the Tigers. Her motivation comes from the ones that have always been there for her.

“You’re winning it for all those that love you. You’re winning it for a lot of people. And you’re winning it not just for LSU,” said Mulkey. “I’ve been doing this a long time, I’m blessed and I’ve coached some of the greatest players to play this game. I’m not getting any younger, and to do this at my age at a new school, it’s a blessing, it’s a blessing.”