CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – LSU is back in the bayou after visiting Washington DC.

The Tigers took down Iowa in the 2023 NCAA national championship game. On Thursday and Friday, the team got a chance to tour the nation’s capitol, sit in the chamber, and meet the president and vice president.

That includes assistant coach Bob Starkey.

Starkey grew up in Winfield; that’s where he also got his coaching start.

The Winfield grad says his first coaching gig was under now Poca head coach Allen Osborne.

Starkey went on to share Osborne had a huge impact on his life, so much so he called him the night before the national championship game to ask advice on defensive strategies.

Starkey’s first college job was on the men’s side at West Virginia State. He stayed there for 3 years, then took a job at Marshall.

After a season with the Herd, he got a call from Coach Brown at LSU and was asked to come help out in the bayou. He did that for 13 years before Coach Brown retired, then women’s coach asked him to work for their team.

Starkey stayed in Baton Rouge for 25 years total, then did a nine year stint at Texas A&M.

Then, he got a call from Auburn, and that’s where he originally planned to retire.

“I told him ‘I’m comin’ here to finish up, then my wife and I will ride off into the sunset to the beach and retire,'” said Starkey. “I never thought Coach Kim Mulkey would give me a call and give me an opportunity to come home and we do consider Baton Rouge home after being here for 25 years.

I’ve been really blessed as a coach to work for some amazing people, have some amazing stops, and it 100% started in West Virginia.”

Coach Starkey went on to share how incredible Kim Mulkey is. Saying most of her staff has been with her for 10+ years, which shows she treats her people well.

Starkey says Mulkey has made a huge impact in Baton Rouge, both on and off the floor.

Her fancy suits are also made by a designer in town, and after every game she gives it to charity.

This 2023 national championship win was LSU’s first ever in women’s basketball, and it was done in Mulkey’s second year as head coach.