LSU’s Kim Mulkey Courts Controversy in Type

And although she will not be the one style-forward coach within the recreation — Daybreak Staley of South Carolina, Adia Barnes of the College of Arizona, and Sydney Carter, the director of participant improvement for the College of Texas are lauded for his or her image-making aptitude — Ms. Mulkey is probably the most excessive. She has been in comparison with a Who from Dr. Seuss’s Whoville, Ric Flair of WrestleMania and a flamingo. (Properly, she has been called a “rare bird.”)

Whether or not you think about her seems to be merely “eccentric,” as Ms. Bordonaro does, or straight from “the Las Vegas clown section,” as Tom Broecker, the costume designer of “Saturday Night Live,” does, it could matter lower than the truth that you think about them in any respect.

“She’s making a statement about her individuality and determination to be herself, no matter what,” Ms. Gibbs of Energy Performs stated. “It has become something people look out for, and she’s leaning in.”

Ms. Mulkey’s penchant for outré costume started to emerge throughout her 21 years at Baylor, wherein she led her group to a few nationwide championships. Throughout that point, she additionally courted controversy with feedback dismissing the college’s sexual misconduct scandal and her therapy of her star participant, Brittney Griner, who has talked publicly about being advised to remain within the closet by her coach and to cowl her tattoos. (Later, Ms. Mulkey didn’t converse up when Ms. Griner was imprisoned in Russia in 2022.) Nonetheless, her model was much more “normal, for want of a better word,” Ms. Gibbs stated.

It was throughout L.S.U.’s run to the N.C.A.A. trophy final 12 months that Ms. Mulkey vaulted from basketball fame to nationwide fame, thanks partially to her penchant for sequins, feathers and lurid shade combos. She wore a black and white sequined polka-dot pantsuit, a Kelly inexperienced and scorching pink plaid jacket with pink feathers on the sleeves, a rose-pink jacket with huge … properly, roses, on the sleeves and, for the ultimate recreation, an allover sequined tiger-stripe pantsuit. (The tiger is the L.S.U. mascot.) Driving within the celebration parade afterward, she selected a purple sequined jacket with extra tigers.