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TikTok Thinks This NCAA Women’s Basketball Coach Is A Fashion Icon

March is jam-packed with special events, from celebrating Women’s History Month to St. Patrick’s Day, but for my sports fans, March signifies one thing: March Madness. During this time, the NCAA basketball teams compete in the biggest tournament of the year. March Madness is a highly watched and praised event, but one coach is bringing more eyes to the high-stakes tournament, and not just for the success of her team. 

Kim Mulkey, Louisiana State University’s (LSU) women’s basketball coach, has become a well-known coach in the field. Not only has she led her team to the Sweet 16 round of the March Madness tournament, but she has become a viral figure on social media for her fashion. Mulkey has brought a new fanbase to the tournament, and to women’s basketball, for her sequin-covered pantsuits and her statement shirts. She’s changing the game of basketball for the better, and TikTok absolutely loves her. 

Making history as a coach and player is nothing new to Kim Mulkey. 

Though she has become a recent fan-favorite on social media and is making coaching history for her fashion, this isn’t her first rodeo when it comes to breaking barriers and records. Her shining blazers suit her, as she was a star back in her college days. Mulkey played for Louisiana Tech between 1980 and 1984, where her team reached the Final Four each year and won an NCAA title in 1982. During her time in college, she also won the Academic All-American award twice. 

In 1984, she took her talents to the Olympics as a player for the U.S. women’s basketball team, where they took home the gold. After her Olympic win, she went on to coach Louisiana Tech’s women’s basketball until 2000. Then, she took her expertise to Baylor, where she was a coach for over 20 years. Under her coaching, they took home three national titles, making her the first person to win a national championship as a player, assistant, and coach. In 2021, she became LSU’s women’s basketball head coach and was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. She is a legend in women’s basketball and now she has become adored for her iconic style — both coaching and fashion style, that is. 

Mulkey is becoming a fan-favorite thanks to TikTok videos of her outfits. 



♬ Way down We Go – KALEO

The reign of Kim Mulkey TikTok started back in January when videos started circulating of her stunning outfits and creators talking about Mulkey’s story. One TikTok of Mulkey with the text “name this legend” garnered over two million likes. The comments under the video proved that she even caught the eye of non-sports fans. One TikToker wrote, “I don’t like basketball but I would do whatever that lady told me to do. Look at that suit. SLAY.” Another wrote, “’I’m about to start watching WBB just for the fashion and passion on the sidelines!” 

TikTokers were even making duets to the video, showing their appreciation for the coach. One TikToker dueted the video and said, “Never have I ever in the 21 years of me living on this Earth have I seen this woman, but this video singlehandedly made me so obsessed with her. I’m literally in love with her. She’s my Kim K.” A Mulkey fanbase was born. 

More videos of her outfits, especially now in March Madness, continue to flood the For You Page. The #KimMulkey tag has over 179 million views on TikTok. From admiration for her St. Patrick’s Day look to compilations of her best looks, Mulkey is TikTok’s latest fashion inspo.

Mulkey’s passion as a coach is contagious.

Though her fashion has given her viral status, her passion for the sport is equally praised by the app. TikTokers have called her their “spirit animal” and “an entire mood.” The fight she shows for her players and the sport is undeniable, making her beyond just a fashion icon in the sport. The lasting impact of her rising popularity is much greater than just viral videos, however. 

Historically, men’s sports are watched more than women’s. In 2019, the March Madness men’s basketball games had an average total viewership of 6.79 million, whereas the women had an average of 3.69 million, according to World Sports Network. However, with the power of social media and a growing appreciation for women in sports like Mulkey, the gap has started to close. 

On Feb. 12, LSU women’s basketball went up against the University of South Carolina. This game garnered over 1.5 million viewers despite Super Bowl pregame content being aired, making it the most-watched women’s college basketball regular season game since 2010. Not too long after, Mulkey’s team broke another record. On Feb. 26, LSU’s women’s basketball sold the most home tickets in the history of the school’s basketball program, both men and women.  LSU isn’t the only team associated with breaking records. The women’s basketball SEC championship between South Carolina and Tennessee on March 8 averaged over 866,000 viewers. This change can also be attributed to big networks finally broadcasting women’s basketball games, such as ABC and ESPN. This national exposure is making way for more money and interest in women’s sports. 

This increase in viewership is bleeding into March Madness. The NCAA’s women’s tournament had an average of 257,000 viewers in the first round, which is a 27% increase from 2022, according to ESPN. So, although Mulkey’s sequin blazers and stunning game-day outfits might seem like just fashion inspo, it’s also giving women in sports and women coaches some much-deserved recognition. It’s official, I’m a Kim Mulkey stan.

Hannah Tolley is a contributing writer under the Entertainment and Culture vertical. She covers entertainment releases, fan theories, pop culture news, and more. Aside from Her Campus, Hannah was also a member of the Florida State University (FSU) Her Campus team. During her time with the chapter, she served as a staff writer for three semesters, where she wrote biweekly pieces across campus, culture, and personal verticals. She also was a content editor for two semesters, where she led a team of 6+ writers and oversaw and edited their articles. Hannah was also an editorial intern for Her Campus during her spring and summer term of her second year in college. As an intern, she worked alongside the full-time edit team to curate timely and evergreen pieces across life, culture, career, and style verticals. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from FSU in May 2023, with a Bachelor of Science in Media/Communication Studies with a minor in English. When she's not dissecting the latest pop culture events, you can find her reading a cheesy romance novel or establishing parasocial relationships with fictional TV characters. She loves to rewatch her favorite shows (Gilmore Girls, One Tree Hill, and Friends) or spend the day going down a rabbit hole of reality dating shows.