New Washington women’s basketball coach Tina Langley secured a major newcomer and retained perhaps the most important Husky on the biggest day for the program since the school hired her last month.
The former Rice coach turned to a familiar face while making her first addition to the UW roster and brought in 6-foot-9 center Nancy Mulkey, who played the past three seasons for Langley with the Owls and was considered the most coveted transfer in the nation.
Haley Van Dyke, who led the Huskies in scoring last season, is also reportedly returning to Montlake after entering the NCAA transfer portal when former coach Jody Wynn was fired.
Adding Mulkey and Van Dyke offsets the loss of freshman guard Tameiya Sadler and sophomore center Quay Miller who are transferring to Colorado.
Mulkey, who will be the tallest player in UW women’s basketball history, averaged 15.7 points, 8.3 rebounds and 3.5 blocks while shooting 54% from the floor last season.
During a 2021 WNIT championship run, Mulkey averaged 15.8 points, 9.2 rebounds and 4.4 blocks during five games while winning the tournament’s MVP award.
“Nancy Mulkey is an elite basketball player and person,” Langley said in a statement released by UW. “Not only is she one of the best post players in the country, she has the character and discipline to be a leader in all walks of life and will make an immediate impact on our program. She has an incredibly bright future and we are so excited to welcome Nancy and her wonderful family to Montlake.”
Mulkey, a Cypress, Texas, native, began her collegiate career at Oklahoma before transferring to Rice after her freshman year. After sitting out a season due to NCAA transfer rules, she became the school’s all-time leader in field-goal percentage (.551) and block shots per game (3.5) and ranks second in total blocks (266).
Last season Van Dyke led Washington in points per game (12.0), steals (44), minutes per game (31.9) and was second in rebounds per game (5.8).
The 6-1 junior forward garnered all-Pac-12 honorable mention honors and all-Pac-12 defensive honorable mention recognition last season.
Langley, who was hired April 5, took over a UW team that was 7-14 last season and finished 11th in the Pac-12 at 3-13.