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I wish all Baylor fans a joyous and prosperous 2008! We are looking forward to this being one of the best years in the history of our athletics program.
2008 is off to a terrific start for Baylor Athletics on all fronts. The Lady Bears are ranked No. 6 in the nation and off to a great start in conference play. The Bears are 14-2 and receiving votes in the national polls. Baylor's spring sports, which have traditionally excelled, appear to be among the strongest teams that we have assembled. These are great times to be a Baylor Bear!
I am frequently asked about Coach Briles. He is going an extraordinary job in putting together his coaching and support staff, and in the process of landing an outstanding recruiting class. He has surrounded himself with a very high quality group of coaches who excel as both teachers and recruiters. Coach Briles and his staff have received an excellent reception from high school coaches and recruits as we expected. We will have some great news to announce on February 6!
I want to take this opportunity to mention the tremendous academic success that Baylor student-athletes achieved during the fall semester. We had 235 student-athletes named to the Big 12 Commissioners Honor Roll for earning a grade point average of 3.0 or better. In addition, we have 10 teams that posted GPAs over 3.0 including four teams posting the best semester GPA on record for their sport.
The Baylor Bear Foundation finished 2007 in very strong position, as we are well ahead of last year's record pace. The Champions Club has made a huge impact on the Bear Foundation, and we look forward to another outstanding fundraising year!
The following are the most recent round of Ask Ian questions.
You sir have been a God send for Baylor University. Thank you very much for all of your successful hirings and dealings.
I am enthralled with our basketball team this season. I see where Coach Scott is being mentioned as coach of the year. What can we do to keep him and show our appreciation to him for his fine record of achievement?
Coral Gables, Fla.
Thank you for the kind comment and questions. We are blessed to have an outstanding coaching, administrative and support staff at Baylor, and it is a great privilege to have the opportunity to work with such special people.
Coach Drew is doing a remarkable job in leading our men's basketball program and has been identified as a national coach of the year candidate by some media outlets. In fact, we have posted an excellent story about the resurgence of the Baylor basketball program under his leadership from ESPN.com on our website.
Coach Drew loves Baylor and the best way for our fans to show him appreciation is to come to games, fill the Ferrell Center and cheer the Bears on to victory!
I am excited about the hiring of Art Briles. I think he has what it takes to take our program to the next level. My question is, why is the game with Notre Dame in the new Cowboys stadium in Arlington not listed in the future schedules section?
Thank you for the comments about Coach Briles. We are hearing similar tributes throughout the Baylor family about his hiring and the renewed excitement surrounding Baylor football.
There are still details that are being worked on regarding the Baylor - Notre Dame football game. We will make an announcement when everything is finalized.
When the new Highers Athletic Complex opens, what will happen to the current office space at Floyd Casey Stadium?
Thank you for the excellent question. When the Highers Athletics Complex and Simpson Athletics and Academic Center are complete next fall (2008), we will be vacating a considerable amount of space in the North End Zone Complex of Floyd Casey Stadium.
We intend to re-purpose this space and are currently working with the campus architect to determine the most efficient way to renovate this facility. Some of the suggestions for utilization of the space include a new B Association area, creating a Hall of Fame or additional hospitality area, and developing operational space for home football games. We will determine the best alternative and proceed with a renovation of this space next year.
Does Baylor have any plans in the future to build an on-campus football stadium?
We intend to continue to make improvements at Floyd Casey Stadium as we have for the past several years in order to maintain it as a first class venue for our football program. With that, there are no current plans to develop a football stadium on or adjacent to campus.
Why is everyone complaining about next year's football schedule? I see them as all winnable games and quality wins will help us to get to a bowl game next year. I would rather have quality opponents that we have a chance to beat rather than I-AA opponents. For the future schedules, how about doing home and homes with Houston and Arkansas?
Midwest City, Okla.
It is unusual to schedule three BCS opponents in non-conference play, particularly when a team competes in as challenging a conference as the Big 12. These three series were scheduled in 2001 and 2002, and since then we have changed athletics administrations and football scheduling philosophies.
As we consider future opponents, we seek a more balanced non-conference schedule with games that are appealing for fans, but include more non-BCS opponents especially teams that are former Southwest Conference rivals.
I hear that there are some football recruits that are silently committed to Baylor including big-time players. Has Coach Briles had that much of an impact on recruiting?
What is Coach Morriss doing?
As you know, we cannot comment specifically on football recruiting or commitments.
However, I can tell you that Baylor has received a waiver that allows University of Miami (Fla.) transfer quarterback Kirby Freeman to be eligible to play in 2008, and we are excited about him joining our football program. In addition, highly touted freshman quarterback Robert Griffin from Copperas Cove and wide receiver Romie Blalock from Cedar Hill have enrolled in classes at Baylor this semester and are expected to make significant contributions early in their careers.
Overall, football recruiting is going extremely well under Coach Briles. He is a tremendous person and coach, and both our current student-athletes and recruits are really excited about the prospects of playing for him.