6:42 P.M. SUNDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2012
It has been an exciting fall filled with more great moments for Baylor Athletics!
Congratulations to Marci Jobson and the women's soccer team on capturing Baylor's first Big 12 championship of the year and the program's first since 1998. The team had an incredible season posting a 19-1-5 record and making a deep run in the NCAA Tournament.
Baylor football finished Big 12 play as one of the nation's hottest teams posting wins over #1-ranked Kansas State, Texas Tech and No. 24 Oklahoma State to end the year at 7-5. The Bears reached their third straight bowl game and are preparing to travel to San Diego to play UCLA in the Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl on December 27.
Basketball season in underway and both the Bears and Lady Bears have posted huge early season wins. The men's team ended Kentucky's 55-game home winning streak by winning in Lexington, while the Lady Bears are coming off an impressive win at 2012 NCAA runner-up Notre Dame last week.
We have a lot of activity on the facilities front taking place this fall as well. We are nearing completion of the new equestrian building that will provide locker room, coaches offices and meeting space. Also, the Jim and Nell Hawkins Indoor Tennis Facility will be completed this month and dedicated in late January.
Baylor Stadium continues to progress well and we believe that when it is opened in 2014, the Bears will be playing in the nation's finest collegiate football facility. At the same time, fundraising and suite sales for the new stadium are going extremely well. There is more information available at http://www.baylor-stadium.com. After you view the video, you will see why there is so much excitement about Baylor Stadium! In early 2013, we will launch a web cam so you can follow the progress as the stadium is built!
There continues to be a great deal of discussion and activity in terms of conference realignment. We are fortunate that the Big 12 has solidified itself with a 13-year grant of rights and long-term television agreement. We continue to monitor the landscape nationally, but anticipate that the Big 12's ten-team model will serve us well for many years to come.
I hope that you have a Merry Christmas and prosperous 2013!
We have number of very good questions this week from our fans, so let's find out what people want to talk about:
Can you explain how bowls work? Does Baylor get to pick its bowl game or does the bowl select the team?
China Spring, Texas
The Big 12 has bowl agreements with the following games: Tostito's Fiesta Bowl; AT&T Cotton Bowl; Valero Alamo Bowl; Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl; Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl, Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas, New Era Pinstripe Bowl and the Heart of Dallas Bowl.
The Fiesta Bowl receives the Big 12 champion and the non-BCS bowls then have the ability to select any bowl eligible Big 12 team in descending order. We are very excited to be heading to the Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl and look forward to kicking off Big 12 play in bowl season.
How is fundraising going for the new stadium and is it taking away from the Bear Foundation?
Joel, thank you for the e-mail and question. As I mentioned above, Baylor Stadium fundraising is going extremely well. In fact, it is already one of the University's most successful fundraising efforts ever thanks to the generosity of our lead donors and those who have purchased Founder's Suites. Premium suite sales are also progressing well and we will begin selling Loge Boxes early in 2013.
At the same time, Bear Foundation giving is up significantly over the same time last year which of course was another record year. With that, we are seeing overwhelming excitement and support from Baylor Nation, and I am sure that many alumni and friends are giving to improve their seating and parking opportunities at Baylor Stadium.
Is there any update on the track project?
Michael Waco, Texas
Michael, we will be working with the architect for the stadium project, Populous, who also has expertise in designing track facilities. We anticipate constructing a new on-campus track concurrently with Baylor Stadium, and have started the planning process for this project. We look forward to having an outstanding, on-campus venue that will serve our nationally recognized men's and women's track programs.
Is there a chance that we will schedule any of the service academies any time soon? It was fun when we played Air Force back some years ago here. They all play an exciting brand of football, and it would be great to see the young men that will be leading our Nation's military for years to come. The atmosphere that they create when you see one of their games makes me proud to be a veteran.
Thank you for the e-mail. We had a home-and-home series with Navy scheduled, but due to the Big 12 increasing from eight to nine conference games we needed to cancel the series. Navy was very gracious in working with us and found a replacement series.
We would be interested in playing an academy in the future and will continue to have dialogue with them about possible games. I have noticed that there has been a noticeable drop-off of incoming calls to schedule football games than when I first arrived at Baylor.
First off, thank you for your time. I've been a huge Baylor fan since the day I was born as my father attended Baylor in the 70's.
My question is when will construction begin on the new football stadium? I understand that many things have to be finalized prior to breaking ground and beginning actual construction, but I can't find any information on it.
Also, will photos be posted to the stadium website to update Baylor Nation on the progress?
Lastly, thanks for the revival of Baylor Athletics. It makes me proud to know that the athletics programs have the full support of the administration. I wish you, and all the programs, continued success.
Grand Prairie, Texas
Thank you for the e-mail regarding Baylor Stadium. We will continue to post updated information at http://www.baylor-stadium.com to keep fans informed about the latest developments with the stadium project.
In addition, a live web cam will be in place after the first of the year to give fans a real-time look at the project.
Is there any interest, or future plan to expand the athletics department to include a men's varsity Soccer program?
China Spring, Texas
I appreciate your question. We do not have any current plans to add either men's or women's intercollegiate programming. We are in compliance with Title IX and our current mix of sports projects to allow Baylor to remain substantially proportionate in its participation opportunities for men and women.