BETON RU GE, La. (AP) – Hall of Fame coach Kim Malkey’s introduction to LSU had a predominant theme that was constantly echoed under the domed roof of the Pete Maravich Congregation Center.
It was the word “home.”
“When you grow up, you do not forget where you come from,” said Malki, who is leaving Baylor’s women’s basketball program, which he built to become a three-time champion, to return to his native Louisiana. – This state made us who we were. … It’s so incredibly comfortable for me to go back to my roots. ”
From Louis, Louisiana, Mulkin won state championships at Hammond High School, about 45 miles east of LPU. He later won national titles as a player-assistant coach at Louisiana Tech, before spending 21 years in Waco, Texas.
Thus, when the 58-year-old was given the opportunity to return to Louisiana, a state-run coaching facility, the resistance was very difficult to resist, even if it meant abandoning a program he had built for the Eternal Candidate. After 9-13 games last season, it missed the 2021 NCAA Tournament.
Since 2007, LSU has not passed the Sweet 16.
“There is only one institution I would go to, they have committed, I am at home,” said Malkin, who helped Baylor win the 2019 NCAA Championship.
Last month, the Bears lost to UConn in the regional finals of this year’s NCAA Tournament.
“If you have followed my career, I have said it many times. “Wherever I go … Louisiana is my home,” said Malkin, who grew up near the city where the state’s annual strawberry festival is held. “I can not wait to eat Ponchatoula strawberries. I can’t wait to have a crab.
“Now I can tell Bodro և Tibodo jokes, և people do not look at me the way I lost my mind.”
Mulkey was flown to Baton Rouge, where he was greeted by Sports Director Scott Woodward, men’s basketball coach Will Wade, and baseball coach Paul Manier, played by his son, Kramer Robertson, from 2014 to 2017.
When Malki arrived at the university, he was greeted by football coach Ed Orgeron. Malkin also praised the recently retired LPU gymnastics coach D.D. Bron, who remains in the sports department of LSU, for the fact that he spoke about the emotional decision to leave the program he had built for two decades.
“There were a lot of tears,” Malky said as he described discussions with Baylor’s players leaving. “I could tell them that I was going home, that I loved them, that I hoped they would understand, that they would not be angry with me. But it just feels like it’s time to go home. ”
Malki’s family և a number of high-ranking members of the LPU և even Governor John von Bell Edwards were present at his introduction, which was open to the public.
“There are great coaches in this country, but I can’t hire a champion every day,” said Woodward, noting how LSU fans watch and admire Malki “off the road” throughout his coaching career.
“The next manager of the championship, Malki, will win. We will all watch from the front row,” said Woodward. “The best coach in the country is coming to Louisiana.”
Although Malki does not have the maximum number of victories or championships of any active coach, he has become the fastest coach in Division I history to reach 600 victories, requiring only 700 games.
For 21 years as Baylor’s head coach, Malki led the Lady Bears to four Final Fours. His teams reached the Elite Eight six times, and the “Sweet 16” five more times.
A member of the 2020 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Mulkin Baylor built as a national power as they became only the third program in NCAA history to hold at least three national titles, joining UConn և Tennessee.
He replaces Nikki Fargas, who resigned last week.
Before coming to Baylor, Malki spent 19 years as a player or coach at Louisiana Tech. As a player, she helped Lady Techster win her first NCAA Championship in 1982. He also won a gold medal for the US national team at the 1984 Olympics.
Malki asked current LSU players who wanted to meet at the beginning of the day to stand up and be recognized by focusing on the five Final Four panels hanging above them.
“Not where it says ‘National Champion,'” Malkin said. “It does not happen overnight. … Give me time. But I can assure you that this is what I came here to do. ”
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