RUSTON - Following her acceptance speech at Saturday night's Ark-La-Tex Sports Museum of Champions induction, former Louisiana Tech legend and current Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey had one last agenda item to share with the audience.
Mulkey only minutes earlier heard her former head coach Leon Barmore say kind words in his presentation of her to the prestigious group. Now it was time for Mulkey to turn the tables.
"Leon Barmore is in the Naismith Hall of Fame," Mulkey said, with the Hall of Famer standing by her side. "So, what I'm gonna do, if (Tech president) Les Guice is here, which I know he is. It's time for all of you -- there are a lot of big dogs in this room who are Louisiana Tech people -- it's time for you to do something for this man on that campus.
"I don't know if it's a building. I don't know if it's a statue. I don't know if it's a street. But I'm gonna do my part and donate $25,000 to the fund that starts it."
Barmore built Louisiana Tech into a national power in the women's basketball world during his 25 years as an assistant coach, associate head coach, co-head coach and head coach of the program. As the co-head coach and head coach (1983-2002), the Ruston native led Tech to 576 wins and only 87 losses and retired as the winningest coach percentage-wise in the history of the game (men and women).
Mulkey was a big part of the success of the program as both a player and an assistant coach, helping lead the Barmore-coached Techsters to four Final Fours and two national titles.
"I appreciate Kim's recognition of Coach Barmore's tremendous contributions to Louisiana Tech University and to women's basketball through this leadership gift," said Tech President Les Guice. "I have known Coach Barmore since our days in Bastrop and throughout my tenure as a student and faculty member at Tech. We are proud of Coach Barmore and Kim Mulkey as champions in athletics and in life. Their accomplishments will be recognized by the Tech Family for generations to come."
"We are so grateful for Coach Mulkey's donation," said Tech Athletics Director Tommy McClelland. "She has always been a leader in women's basketball and now she is providing philanthropic leadership for a project to honor a legend; Leon Barmore. We are so thankful for her generosity.
"We have been brainstorming on several different ways to honor Coach Barmore. We will continue to work with those like Coach Mulkey that know him to find the proper tribute."