LSU women’s basketball coach Kim Mulkey will receive a nice little perk from winning a national championship.
Mulkey and LSU have agreed to a 10-year, $32 million contract extension that will make her the highest-paid coach in women’s basketball, according to NOLA.com’s Reed Darcey. The deal is reportedly pending final approval from the LSU Board of Supervisors, which meets Friday.
UConn’s Geno Auriemma was previously the high-water mark in the sport with an average annual value of $2.9 million, followed by South Carolina’s Dawn Staley at $2.7 million.
This new deal will see Mulkey’s salary start $2.75 million and escalate up to $3.65 million in its final year of 2033. She was previously set to make an average of $2.5 million annually through 2029.
Kim Mulkey needed only two seasons to transform LSU
Mulkey is being rewarded after a surprise national title for the Bayou Bengals, who entered this year’s 2023 NCAA Tournament as a No. 3 seed and exited as champions. It was a stunning reversal for LSU considering it went 9-13 in its final year before nabbing Mulkey, an LSU alum, from Baylor.
LSU did it with a team led by a plethora of transfers, most notably the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player Angel Reese from Maryland. Also joining the Tigers that summer were Texas A&M transfer Alexis Morris, Missouri transfer LaDazhia Williams and West Virginia transfer Jasmine Carson, all of whom started at least 30 games for the champions.
Each of those transfers save Reese have since left for the WNBA, but Mulkey reloaded with another monster transfer class. Louisville star Hailey Van Lith sent shockwaves through the basketball world when she opted to team up with Reese, then DePaul’s Aneesah Morrow gave the Tigers another All-American.
In addition to that trio of monster transfers, LSU is returning last season’s SEC Freshman of the Year Flau’jae Johnson and will be welcoming the top recruiting class in college basketball, headlined by ESPN’s No. 2 overall recruit Mikaylah Williams and No. 7 recruit Aalyah Del Rosario.
In two seasons at her alma mater, Mulkey has already won a championship, accrued a 60-8 record and made the program a prime destination for top recruits and transfers. It’s not hard to figure out why LSU is opening up the checkbook.