March 23, 2012
WACO, Texas - For the second time in less than a week, Baylor women's basketball head coach Kim Mulkey has been selected as a finalist for a major national coach of the year award, as she was named the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Region 5 Coach of the Year, it was announced by the WBCA. Mulkey becomes one of eight finalists for the WBCA Division I Coach of the Year award.
Also a finalist for the 2012 Naismith National Coach of the Year award, Mulkey has guided Baylor to a nation's-best 36-0 overall record this season and a perfect 18-0 mark in Big 12 Conference play, claiming the outright Big 12 Conference regular season title by seven games. The Lady Bears won their second straight and third overall regular season championship and claimed its fourth Big 12 Tournament championship.
In just 12 years at Baylor, the Women's Basketball Hall of Famer and former Olympic Gold medalist has guided the Lady Bear basketball program to the pinnacle of women's basketball, the 2005 NCAA national championship, 11 NCAA Tournament appearances, 12, 20-win seasons and three, 30-win campaigns, including a school-record 36 wins this season. In addition, over the past seven seasons, Mulkey has led the Lady Bears to two Final Four appearances (2005, '10) and seven Big 12 Conference titles.
Mulkey has produced amazing results since taking over the program's reins on April 4, 2000, averaging 27.8 wins a season. In her 12 years at the program's helm, she has posted an impressive 334-79 (.809) record which ranks her No. 4 nationally in winning percentage. In addition, the Lady Bear program ranks No. 5 among the NCAA Division I's winningest teams over that span.
Joining Mulkey as regional coaches of the year and finalists for the 2012 WBCA Division I Coach of the Year award are: Muffett McGraw (Notre Dame), Brenda Frese (Maryland), Tom Collen (Arkansas), Curt Miller (Bowling Green), Coquese Washington (Penn State), Raegan Pebley (Utah State) and Tara VanDerveer (Stanford).
This year's recipient of the WBCA Division I Coach of the Year award will be announced at the second annual WBCA Awards Show on April 2 in Denver during the WBCA Convention that is held in conjunction with the NCAA Women's Final Four.
"The WBCA congratulates these eight coaches on being named finalists for this year's Division I Coach of the Year award," said WBCA CEO Beth Bass. "Each coach was selected by their peers and is deserving of this honor for their terrific seasons. On behalf of the WBCA and its members, I wish all five of these finalists the best of luck at the WBCA Awards Show in Denver."