After a pandemic pause, the Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl Kickoff Dinner is back on the schedule for 2022 and it’s back with a flourish — LSU women’s basketball coach Kim Mulkey will be the featured speaker, the first woman to step into that spotlight.
The annual dinner is Tuesday evening, Aug. 30 at the Shreveport Convention Center.
Doors will open at 6 p.m. for a cocktail hour, dinner buffets will open at 6:15 p.m. and the program will begin at 7 p.m. with a brief audience Q&A following the program.
Individual tickets to the 2022 Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl Kickoff Dinner are on sale for $50 apiece, while a table of eight is $400 apiece. Tickets are available for purchase at the bowl’s website or by calling the Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl office at 318.221.0712 or toll-free at 888.414.BOWL.
Featured speakers at the annual kickoff event have included Marcus Spears, Devin White, Drew Brees, Steve Spurrier, Herschel Walker, Archie Manning, Emmitt Smith, Jason Witten, Lou Holtz, Bobby Bowden and Terry Bradshaw.
Mulkey’s credentials and effervescent personality make her a good fit on that list. Being the first female is second-nature for her: as a pre-teen, she played All-Star baseball with the boys in Hammond in the mid-1970s, not long after Title IX legislation was passed the summer of 1972. She and her parents actually needed to use legal action to break one roadblock.
Doing things others haven’t comes naturally to the 2020 Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, who has won national championships as a player and assistant coach at Louisiana Tech and as head coach at Baylor. At 29, in 1990, she became the youngest ever inductee, a distinction she still holds, in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame based on her playing days at Hammond High and Tech. She was enshrined in the Ark-La-Tex Museum of Champions a few years ago.
Last season, her first at LSU, Mulkey earned national Coach of the Year honors. She led her first LSU team to a 26-6 record, second place in the SEC and a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament. It was the greatest turnaround in SEC history by a first-year head coach, and she was named the Associated Press National Coach of the Year – joining Geno Auriemma and Muffet McGraw as just the third coach to win the AP Coach of the Year award three times.
“It is an honor to be invited to speak at the kickoff dinner for the Independence Bowl,” said Mulkey. “The Independence Bowl is such an important event to north Louisiana which is where I went to school and began my coaching career. I have created a lot of great memories in north Louisiana and I am excited to be back Aug. 30 to share my story.”
“We are very excited to have Kim Mulkey speak at our annual Kickoff Dinner,” noted 2022 Independence Bowl Foundation Chairman Rob Rubel. “She is such an important figure in the history of Louisiana sports and in college athletics, and it will be an honor to learn more about her story at this great event.”
Photo courtesy of LSU ATHLETICS