Mulkey named basketball HOF finalist

Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey, right, talks to her players during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Texas on Jan. 31 in Austin. Baylor won 64-44. Associated Press

By Pranay Malempati | Sports Writer

Baylor women’s basketball head coach Kim Mulkey was announced as one of eight Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame finalists on Friday for the 2020 class, at a press conference shown on NBA TV.

Mulkey has three national championships as the Lady Bears head coach and remains the only person to win an NCAA national championship as a player, assistant coach, and head coach.

This is Mulkey’s second time being named a Hall of Fame finalist, with the first time coming two years ago in 2018.

The Hall of Fame inductees will be announced on Saturday April 4 at 10 a.m. at the NCAA Men’s Final Four. A finalist needs 18 out of 24 votes from the Honors Committee to be elected into the Hall of Fame.

The other seven finalists are Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, San Antonio Spurs legend Tim Duncan, Timberwolves/Celtics legend Kevin Garnett, former Oklahoma State men’s head coach Eddie Sutton, former Houston Rockets head coach Rudy Tomjanovich, WNBA legend Tamika Catchings, and former NCAA women’s basketball head coach Barbara Stevens.

The only guaranteed inductee into the Hall of Fame is Kobe Bryant, who will be inducted posthumously after his tragic death in a helicopter crash last month.

Mulkey’s three national championships at Baylor came in 2005, 2012, and 2019. She has a combined 20 Big 12 regular season and tournament championships. Mulkey has also won seven national coach of the year awards as well as seven Big 12 coach of the year awards.

Her defending national champion Lady Bears are currently ranked No. 2 in the nation with a record of 22-1. They are undefeated in the Big 12 and have not lost since November.

Mulkey currently has a head coaching record of 598-100. If she picks up two more wins in the next five games, she will become the fastest NCAA Division I coach, male or female, to reach the 600-win milestone.