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Baylor women’s basketball coach Kim Mulkey, who built the Bears into a national power, announced she’s leaving Waco for the head coaching job at LSU after 21 seasons with the Bears.

Mulkey won three NCAA championships (2005, 2012 and 2019) and 11 Big 12 regular season titles and 10 Big 12 tournament titles.

The rumors of her departure had been circulating for several days but the official announcement was still met with shock by many on social media.

Mulkey, who turns 59 on May 17, played at Louisiana Tech, winning the National Championship in 1982, before beginning her coaching career as a La. Tech assistant in 1985.

“We are grateful for the more than two decades Kim Mulkey poured into building Baylor women’s basketball to one of the nation’s premier programs,” Baylor athletic director Mack Rhoades said in a press release. “Coach Mulkey’s sustained success is one of the most remarkable runs in college basketball history, and her accomplishments are worthy of the Naismith Hall of Fame induction she’ll experience later this year.”

Rhoades said Baylor has launched a national search for her successor.

Mulkey’s departure stunned many longtime Baylor supporters and Big 12 media members as well. Austin American-Statesman columnist Cedric Golden called it a big loss for the Big 12 Conference.

“Greatest coach in Baylor history leaves for LSU,” Golden posted on Twitter.

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