In the nearly 20-year history of the Big 12 Conference, no coach in any of the Big-Four sports (football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, baseball) had ever won three straight Coach of the Year honors — until Thursday, when the Baylor Lady Bears’ Kim Mulkey was so honored.
Only one player in that time, across all four sports, had ever been named Big 12 Player of the Year three times — Oklahoma women’s basketball’s Courtney Paris. That number is now two, as the Lady Bears’ Brittney Griner claimed her third straight trophy this week.
Griner was also named the league’s Defensive Player of the Year for the fourth straight year and was joined by junior guard Odyssey Sims on the All-Big 12 First Team (Sims’ third straight first-team selection). Seniors Jordan Madden, Kimetria Hayden and Brooklyn Pope were each named All-Big 12 Honorable Mention. Griner and Sims also made the All-Defensive Team, while senior Destiny Williams received the Sixth Man Award and Alexis Prince made the All-Freshman Team.
With their third straight Big 12 regular season title already in the bag, the Lady Bears will now look to extend their Big 12 tournament championship run to three straight years as well. Baylor will face either Kansas State or Texas in the tournament quarterfinals Saturday at 1:30 p.m. on FSN.
Sic ’em, Lady Bears!