Ask Ian: Christmas Edition
9:35 P.M. FRIDAY, DEC. 11, 2009
Hello Baylor Family,
I want to take this opportunity to wish Baylor fans everywhere a happy and safe holiday season. The Baylor family has much to be thankful for especially at this time of year when we join together to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
This has been a very exciting week for Baylor volleyball as the team won two matches in the NCAA Tournament to advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time in the program's 32-year history. Baylor swept Georgia Tech, 3-0, and then upset #8 UCLA on its homecourt, 3-1, to earn the biggest win in program history. Baylor now advances to play #9 California in Gainesville, Florida on December 11 with an opportunity to reach the final eight.
Last month, the Baylor women's cross country team reached the NCAA Championships and finished 28th to earn our first points in 2009-10 toward the Learfield NACDA Director's Cup standings.
Coach Briles and I had the opportunity to attend the National Football Foundation dinner in New York on Tuesday night. Senior linebacker Joe Pawelek was one of 16 finalists for the Campbell Trophy, considered the "Academic Heisman". It was a great night for college football and Baylor was prominently recognized thanks to Joe's performance in the classroom , on the field and in the community.
The Baylor basketball teams are off to strong starts with 7-1 records as of today's writing. I want to encourage fans to come out and support the men's and women's teams as they play several games during the holidays. Tickets are available by calling 254-710-1000.
The Lady Bears are ranked #6 in both polls and travel to New York to play Boston College on December 13 in the Maggie Dixon Classic. The team hosts Oral Roberts (Dec. 16), travels to Las Vegas for a pair of games before Christmas, then returns home to face Texas-Pan American (Dec. 30) and Texas State (Jan. 2) before opening Big 12 play.
The men's team has upcoming home games against Jackson State (Dec. 15), Texas Arlington (Dec. 20) and Morgan State (Jan. 6) before starting the conference schedule. The Bears also play at Arkansas (Dec. 30) and South Carolina (Jan. 2).
Congratulations are in order for two Baylor letterwinners who recently received significant national honors. Former Baylor tennis player Mark Hurd, the CEO and Chairman of HP, was named the American Football Coaches Foundation CEO Coach of the Year and will be honored at a dinner in New York on Dec. 14. Former Baylor football player Jay Allison, CEO and President of Comstock Resources, was named the national winner of the Ernst & Young LLP Entrepreneur of the Year in the Energy, Chemicals and Mining category.
It is great to see former Baylor student-athletes excelling in their professional lives having benefitted from their academic and athletic experiences at the University.
As the 2009 year comes to a close, I want to thank each of you for your support of Baylor Athletics. It has been a special year both academically and athletically. Moreover, we are poised for even greater success in 2010 and beyond. I want to encourage each of you to consider making a gift or additional gift to the Baylor Bear Foundation in support of student-athlete scholarships at year end.
Gifts to the Bear Foundation provide our student-athletes the opportunity to compete in the sport that they love while earning a world class education at Baylor. In addition, all year end gifts will count toward the campaign total for Victory With Integrity. At this time, we have already eclipsed the five-year, $90 million fundraising goal and want to maximize this total to demonstrate the extraordinary commitment that exists for Baylor Athletics.
Thank you for your incredible support and best wishes for an enjoyable Holiday season!
We have received several Ask Ian questions in the past several weeks.
You are to be congratulated in hiring Art Briles. You have the perfect coach for Baylor and he is building the program the right way. I was proud of the team last Saturday and cannot wait for next season.
Thank you for the kind comments about Coach Briles. He is a great fit for Baylor and is making great strides in building a consistent winning program. At the recent football meetings in New York, it was encouraging to hear so many comments about the progress that the football program is making.
Baylor football is on an upward trajectory and enjoys a great deal of momentum based upon the quality of our coaching staff, performance of the team, recruiting success and new facilities.
My daughter is BU Lady Bear fan and would like a #42 Lady Bear Jersey (Britney Griner's #). The online store responded to my inquiry that there were no current plans to have a #42 jersey. This seems like an odd marketing decision. Is it policy not to promote jersey's #s like #42?
Overland Park, Kan.
Thank you for the question. The Baylor Bookstore and our licensing area have been working with Nike to develop a line of Lady Bear jerseys with number 42. To date, Nike has been slow to react to this opportunity, but we are hopeful based upon the success of the team and performance of Brittney Griner they will respond more favorably.
In the meantime, Baylor Bookstore has a near-replica No. 42 jersey which is expected to be delivered to the store by the end of the week.
Man, that game at Cowboys Stadium was the best Baylor game that I've been at. When will you play there again?
Thanks for the e-mail and comments about the Baylor - Texas Tech football game in Cowboys Stadium. We have received overwhelmingly positive feedback about the game and atmosphere in Cowboys Stadium. As you may know, we are committed to playing Texas Tech next October 9 in the Cotton Bowl during the Texas State Fair. We believe that this will be another attractive game for our fans.
At this point, we are in conversations with Texas Tech about opportunities for future games in the Metroplex, but no decisions have been made. We have yet to reconcile the ticket revenue from the game, but believe that both programs stand to do very well financially.
Is the indoor tennis facility the next major building project, and if so, what is the projected cost and how much has been raised to date?
We have made great improvements recently to the tennis facilities but we really need indoor courts to host tournaments and both teams have earned it with consistent national rankings.
Thanks for the e-mail. We don't have a timeline for the indoor tennis facility at this time. There are a couple of different site options and cost estimates based upon the scope of the project.
At this time, we are in need of a major gift to serve as a catalyst to move this project forward. The recent improvements to the Hurd Tennis Building and addition of three outdoor courts have been wonderful enhancements to the Baylor Tennis Center.