WACO, Texas (KWTX) Kim Mulkey is a two-time national championship winning basketball coach known for her “tell-it-like-it-is” personality and fire on the sidelines, but in a magazine cover story that hit the stands Friday, the Lady Bears coach says there’s a side to her people rarely see, which now also includes the duties of grandmother.
Kim Mulkey with daughter Makenzie and grandson Kannon Reid. (Photo courtesy of Modern Texas Living)
“It’s kind of comical to us as a family and to my basketball team,” Mulkey said.
“We all laugh what people really perceive me to be because all the public sees is that sideline. I have a job to do and I'm intense, I'm passionate, I hate to lose and if I'm going to expect my players to play extremely hard and give me everything they have then I need to do the same in return.”
Mulkey, who is most comfortable in her sweats with no makeup and a ponytail, appeared on the cover of “Modern Texas Living” Friday with a glamorous look.
Inside the magazine, there’s an article titled “Kim Mulkey: A Side Not Often Seen.”
In it the coach talks about the quiet life she enjoys with her family spending time doing one of her greatest hobbies; yardwork.
“I’m the same person today that I was when I was a child,” Mulkey is quoted as saying.
“I’m very much rooted in the values of a home and family and I don’t go out and have crazy trips and a social life.”
“My life consists of my job, my children, going on a vacation now and then and being in my yard. I don’t need entertainment and I’m not lonely.”
She echoed the comments in an interview with KWTX on Friday in which she talked about the contrast between her courtside intensity and her markedly calmer home life.
“They know with me they’re going to get fight and fire. Who doesn't want to play for a coach that has that in them? Who doesn't want an employee that wakes up every day fighting for their university, and I don’t apologize for that. I think that's a part of who I am. A big part of who I am with my job but when I go home, I'm laying on the floor with the baby playing with him and out in the yard working.”
Mulkey talked to KWTX Friday alongside her daughter, Makenzie, who played for Mulkey and now works on her staff, as well as her new grandson, Kannon Reid Fuller, who was born three weeks ago Friday.
Makenzie and her husband Clay recently moved back to Waco but while searching for a home the family has moved in with Mulkey, who also has son, Kramer, a professional baseball player, who is home for the off-season.
It’s a situation Mulkey says is kind of like “The Brady Bunch.”
“I'm not complaining,” she said.
“What parent doesn't want their kids to stay with them forever and ever? So we're kind of in a transition period but it's most welcomed.”
Welcoming the baby home has been emotional for the entire family, including Mulkey, after the Fuller’s first baby, a girl named Scout Maire, didn’t develop properly and died after doctors were unable to detect a heartbeat during a checkup while Makenzie was pregnant.
When Kannon was born, Makenzie wanted to honor her daughter, too, and chose to dress him in newborn photos, shared in the magazine, in a onesie that read “handpicked for earth by my sister in heaven,” a gift given to the couple by Clay’s mother.
“You never expect in life something to happen to you and we knew early on that Scout probably wasn't going to make it and I watched Makenzie and Clay in the faith that they had,” Mulkey said.
“They made me a better person.”
In a side also not often seen, Mulkey teared up as she talked about her family.
“You tear up because you think these are little miracles and we love them,” Mulkey said through tears patting her grandson’s back.
Mulkey said she’s got big plans for Kannon which start with getting him to a Lady Bears game.
That’s when his parents will let him go.
“I'm just ready for him to come to a ballgame but you know these millennial parents now they want to wait a few months so the germs don't get on them,” Mulkey said, laughing.
“So you know they're gonna raise a sissy and I'm gonna have to toughen him up but you know I’m just the grandmother.”
Makenzie says Kannon is a blessing and a good baby whose parents are learning as they go.
“It's going great. He’s a great baby,” Makenzie said.
“It's mom and dad who are figuring it out.”