Kim Mulkey has treated the NCAA Tournament sidelines as her own personal fashion show, and she brought another showstopper to the Final Four on Friday night.
In just her second year as the head coach of the LSU women’s basketball team, Mulkey has led the third-seeded Tigers to the cusp of the national title game. And along the way, she has turned heads with her eye-catching outfits. (Don’t forget to vote for your favorite below.)
For Friday night’s Final Four showdown against No. 1 seed Virginia Tech, set to tip off at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN, she wore a bright pink blazer with large fabric flowers running from the shoulders all the way down to the cuffs of her sleeves. Her granddaughter, Sage, wore a dress with matching pink ruffles around the collar.
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Mulkey started the tournament with a sweater reading “Kiss Me I’m a Queen” (…or did it say “green”?) for her team’s St. Patrick’s Day win against Hawaii. She followed that up with a full polka-dot ensemble for LSU’s second-round win against Michigan.
The most iconic look so far came in the Sweet 16 against Utah, when she donned a Neubyrne blazer with neon pink feathers running down each sleeve. She wore a sparkling rainbow blazer for the Elite Eight, from the aptly named Louisiana fashion company Queen of Sparkles.
“I do not go pick these things out,” Mulkey said after the Sweet 16. “Look, we’re from Louisiana, we like sparkles, we like diamonds, we like Mardi Gras, we like to eat and we like to party.”
Jennifer Roberts, LSU’s director of player personnel and influence, coordinates many of Mulkey’s looks with Queen of Sparkles. The company, owned by Jaime Glas, has provided more than 50 of the coach’s looks.
For the Final Four, which is being played at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Mulkey has brought some Texas flavor. The coach, who spent 21 seasons at Baylor and still has a home in Waco, wore a black straw cowboy hat emblazoned with the Final Four logo for media day.
“I was going to come in here and sing, ‘All my exes live in Texas,’” she told reporters Thursday. “Which is true. I only have one, though, only been married once.”
Some people have told Mulkey, “‘Coach, quite honestly, I don’t know anything about basketball, but I will come just to see what you wear,’” she admitted to the Wall Street Journal. But she’s just happy to expose them to the sport.
“I want those that come to the games for that reason to keep coming,” Mulkey said. “And I want them to learn the game of basketball.”