Notre Dame and Baylor will square off in the NCAA tournament championship on Sunday.
Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey told reporters Saturday that she agrees with the recent comments made by Notre Dame's Muffet McGraw regarding the lack of female representation on women's basketball coaching staffs. But Mulkey added that she believes top candidates should be hired, regardless of gender.
"I understand her points, without a doubt," Mulkey said, per ESPN's Mechelle Voepel. "But I'm of the belief, I want the best person for the job. I have a son, and I would be honored if my son wanted to coach next to me.
"[McGraw] has a son. I think she would be honored if he wanted to coach women's basketball. So I tend to stay away from saying the word 'never.' Bringing attention to what needs to be fixed, but don't give an absolute answer. Because I don't want to hire somebody just to be hiring them. I want to hire somebody that can help us be successful."
During McGraw's impassioned press conference, she did mention that she hired a male video coordinator and strength coach. Jonathan Tsipis, now the head coach at Wisconsin, was the last male assistant coach on McGraw’s staff. He coached under her in 2012. Mike Szemborski, the Fighting Irish's director of strength and conditioning, is currently the only male on their bench.
"I'm not opposed to hiring men," McGraw said. "I just think that women need opportunities, and those opportunities right now are going to men."
According to ThinkProgress, the percentage of female-led women’s college basketball programs had dropped to 59 percent in 2018 from 79 percent in 1977.
Baylor and Notre Dame will square off for the national championship on Sunday. The tip is scheduled for 6 p.m. ET.