WACO, Texas (AP) — Leon Barmore is coming out of retirement to join the coaching staff at Baylor, where he'll assist one of his former assistants and fellow member of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.
Barmore was hired Friday by Lady Bears coach Kim Mulkey, who was Barmore's assistant for 15 seasons at Louisiana Tech before taking the Baylor job in 2000.
"This has to rank as one of my best recruiting jobs, albeit in a different way," Mulkey said. "Words can't express how excited I am."
Barmore initially announced his retirement from Louisiana Tech in March 2000. But when Mulkey took the Baylor job after Louisiana Tech refused to give her a five-year contract to replace Barmore, he coached for two more years before retiring as head coach.
The Lady Techsters made 20 trips to the NCAA tournament under Barmore, who had a career record of 576-87 for an .869 winning percentage that is still the best in women's basketball history. They won the national championship in 1988 and made eight other Final Four appearances.
"There are only two schools that could have gotten me out of retirement, Louisiana Tech and Baylor," the 63-year-old Barmore said. "At this time in my life I have no desire to be a head coach but I missed the game and still wanted to coach. After several talks with Kim, I decided Baylor was a perfect fit for me. I get to work for someone I know and respect."
Mulkey led the Lady Bears to the national championship in 2005.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press.