Dawn Staley vs Kim Mulkey: H2H, stats comparison, records, notable achievements and more

Dawn Staley and Kim Mulkey have combined for the last three national women’s championships for South Carolina and LSU, with Staley winning in 2022 and 2024 and Mulkey capturing the 2023 edition.

Before coaching the Lady Tigers, Mulkey had success at Baylor where she guided the Lady Bears to three titles in 2005, 2012 and 2019.

Staley, meanwhile, coached South Carolina to the 2017 national championship and helped the Gamecocks to 12 straight NCAA tournaments, excluding 2020, when the league canceled the tournament due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

South Carolina coach Dawn Staley (left) and LSU coach Kim Mulkey (right)

NCAA women’s basketball tournaments aren’t interesting without Staley and Mulkey competing for the title each season. But who is better, Dawn Staley or Kim Mulkey? Let’s take a deep dive into the two coaches by comparing them.

Dawn Staley vs Kim Mulkey: Measuring up

NCAA coaching records

Kim Mulkey coached Baylor and LSU to four national titles.

Both coaches began coaching in 2000, with Staley handling Temple and Mulkey guiding Baylor.

Mulkey had earlier success, winning titles with Baylor in 2005, 2012 and 2019, including a 40-0 season in 2012. In 2021, the Santa Ana, California, native left Baylor with an amazing 632-104 record, which included a 291-61 mark in NCAA Tournaments. Mulkey signed with LSU in 2022 and won her fourth national championship the next year.

Dawn Staley vs Kim Mulkey is women's basketball's next great rivalry

Staley, meanwhile, called the shots for the Owls from 2000-2008 and helped the squad qualify in six NCAA Tournaments. She signed a coaching deal with South Carolina in 2008, but it was in 2012 that she led the team to the first of 12 straight NCAA Tournament appearances, including three titles.

Staley has a combined record of 612-186, including 199-55 in NCAA Tournaments. Like Mulkey, she guided the Gamecocks to an unbeaten season, winning all 38 games in the 2023-24 season.

Advantage: Mulkey


Dawn Staley won four of her last head-to-head games with Kim Mulkey.

In their first three games, Mulkey had a 2-1 advantage over Staley. However, Staley has racked up four straight wins to turn their head-to-head clash in her favor, at 5-2.

Dawn Staley on how South Carolina women's basketball beat LSU, Kim Mulkey

Last season, the Gamecocks mentor won its regular season clash against LSU, 76-70. They followed it up with another SEC Tournament final victory in a brawl-marred encounter, 79-72.

Advantage: Staley

Notable achievements

Staley and Mulkey were former basketball players before venturing into coaching. Both played point guard and were part of the US national team that competed in international competitions, including the Olympics.

Mulkey helped the US squad win the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and 1983 Pan-American Games in Caracas, Venezuela. Meanwhile, Staley had a more decorative national career, winning the gold medals in the 1996, 2000, 2004 Summer Games and was a two-time Women’s World Cup champion.

As a coach, Staley guided Team USA to gold medals in the 2007 Pan-American Games, 2019 and 2021 FIBA AmeriCup, 2018 World Cup and the 2020 Olympics.

Mulkey was a three-time USBWA National Coach of the Year, only to be overtaken by Staley, who has four. Mulkey was a seven-time Big 12 Coach of the Year when she was in Baylor, while her counterpart is also a seven-time Coach of the Year winner in the SEC.

Advantage: Staley

Dawn Staley has a slight advantage in three categories, but Mulkey has achieved more in terms of national championships and win-loss percentage.

The South Carolina coach has the edge in international exposure, winning gold medals as a coach and as a player, but Mulkey captured gold in the 1984 Olympics as a national cager.

Staley has had success recently against Mulkey due to the strength of her teams in South Carolina. There’s a possibility that Mulkey can overturn this, but it depends on how her team is assembled in the coming years.

Read More: Kim Mulkey secures whopping $32M deal with LSU, skyrockets to nation’s highest-paid WBB coach in history

Who do you think is the better coach among the two? Dawn Staley or Kim Mulkey? Let’s know in the comments section below.

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