Kim Mulkey’s Conflicts with Baylor, LSU Players, Coaching Methods Detailed in Report

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - FEBRUARY 8: Head coach Kim Mulkey of the LSU Lady Tigers talks to a referee against the Vanderbilt Commodores in the second half at Vanderbilt University Memorial Gymnasium on February 8, 2src24 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Carly Mackler/Getty Images)

Carly Mackler/Getty Images

In the wake of LSU head women’s basketball coach Kim Mulkey threatening legal action if the story dropped, Kent Babb of the Washington Post published a profile Saturday on Mulkey and her behind-the-scenes coaching style.

Mulkey, 61, is in the midst of her third season as the head coach at LSU and previously spent 21 seasons as the head coach at Baylor, and Babb’s article focused on both stints and featured accounts from current and former members of both programs.

Some former players told Babb that for all of her success, including winning three national championships at Baylor and one at LSU, Mulkey has had a penchant for holding heated team meetings.

Players who have played for Mulkey said staffers have at times “mitigated the risk” of Mulkey’s tongue-lashings getting recorded by confiscating players’ phones beforehand.

A specific example given occurred in 2022, one day after two LSU players got into a heated altercation.

Mulkey allegedly “went ballistic” on the team, with one person present for the meeting saying, “My regret in this life, I didn’t record this meeting.”

It is also alleged that Mulkey has used intimidation tactics, including attempting to embarrass players by making them weigh in in front of the team.

Kelli Griffin, who played for Mulkey at Baylor from 2007 to 2010, and other former players told Babb that Mulkey often used that tactic and other forms of “shame” to get the desired results from her players, including calling out players during practices and meetings.

Griffin expressed her belief that Mulkey began treating her differently when she found out she was gay.

Griffin said, “Kim Mulkey is an amazing coach; the reason I went to Baylor is because of her,” but added that Mulkey “made my life hell.”

Mulkey and her attorneys denied allegations that she treated gay players “more harshly or differently” than others and included statements from multiple players to support her account.

Former Baylor player Morghan Medlock said she was in a relationship with Griffin and noted that she never saw Mulkey mistreat Griffin or any other gay player.

Former Baylor and LSU player Alexis Morris declared, “Coach Mulkey is not homophobic.”

The most notable player coached by Mulkey during her time was Brittney Griner, who won a national title at Baylor before going on to become a nine-time WNBA All-Star.

Per Babb, Griner wrote in her memoir that Mulkey encouraged players to “keep your business behind closed doors.”

Griner didn’t come out as gay until after playing her final game at Baylor, but she also wrote in her memoir that Mulkey often chalked up any personal issues she was having to “girlfriend problems.”

Before Saturday’s story was released, Mulkey addressed it during a press conference last week, calling it a “hit piece” and questioning the timing since LSU is currently in the NCAA tournament.

Per ESPN, Mulkey added: “I’ve hired the best defamation law firm in the country, and I will sue the Washington Post if they publish a false story about me.”

Mulkey’s LSU team, which won the national title last season, is a No. 3 seed in this year’s tournament and advanced to the Elite Eight with a 78-69 win over No. 2 seed UCLA on Saturday.

Speaking to ESPN’s Holly Rowe before Saturday’s game, Mulkey said she has not yet read the story.

“I can tell you I haven’t read it,” she said. “Don’t know that I will read it. I’ll leave that up to my attorneys.”


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