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The Baylor family has been blessed and become accustomed to excellence among our spring sports programs in recent years. This year is no exception as several programs are in position to earn Big 12 championships:
The 14th-ranked Baylor women's tennis team can clinch the Big 12 regular season championship on Saturday when it hosts Iowa State at noon at the Baylor Tennis Center.
The fourth-ranked men's tennis team is undefeated in Big 12 play with Texas, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma standing between it and the team's sixth straight Big 12 regular season title.
The ninth-ranked Baylor softball team is 9-0 and in first place in the Big 12 more than halfway through its conference schedule.
Other teams that are enjoying successful springs include the women's golf team that is ranked 36th in the nation and matched its highest finish ever with a third-place performance at the Big 12 Championships held at Waco's Ridgewood Country Club Monday through Wednesday. The men's golf team is ranked 34th heading into the Big 12 Championship next week at Hutchinson, Kan.
The baseball team (21-17) is coming off successive conference series wins over #19 Oklahoma and Kansas. The Bears host Missouri for a three-game series this weekend at Baylor Ballpark.
The men's and women's track and field programs have already posted 36 NCAA regional qualifying times, and look forward to a success at the upcoming conference and national meets. This Saturday is the annual Michael Johnson Invitational at the Hart-Patterson Complex.
Baylor Equestrian is hosting the 2007 varsity national championships this week at the Heart of Texas Fairgrounds with the English team seeded sixth and the Western team eighth.
Baylor will be hosting a groundbreaking ceremony for the Highers Athletics Complex and Simpson Athletics and Academic Center on Thursday, May 10, beginning at 5:00 p.m. A great deal of progress has been made on the project and we are looking forward to completing the project and moving in during the summer of 2008.
There will also been improvements made to Bear Heights, Bear Place and the Skybox Complex at Floyd Casey Stadium completed this spring and summer. Among the improvements in Bear Heights will be new and increased seating, new flooring and wall treatments, and the addition of televisions and other amenities. Bear Place will also have improved and increased seating along with the addition of hand rails similar to Bear Club. The Skybox Complex lobby, elevators and entry areas will be renovated as part of this project as well.
The Victory With Integrity campaign is enjoying considerable success as the attached story on BaylorBears.com describes. I am grateful to all of our generous supporters who are funding the excellence that our teams and student-athletes are experiencing athletically and academically.
The Bear Foundation Fund Drive kickoff was held on Saturday and we are looking to build upon our record-breaking year in 2006. Please give at the highest level that you are able in support of student-athlete scholarships.
The following are the most recent round of Ask Ian questions.
Many of us are on pins and needles wondering whether or not we will continue to have coach Mulkey as our coach for the Lady Bears next year.
I cannot express how excited Lady Bear fans are that Coach Kim will be at Baylor for the next 10 years or longer. I want to thank everyone involved for keeping our coach.
I appreciate Coach Mulkey's loyalty to Baylor and her desire to remain at the university long-term. She has done an incredible job in building a championship women's basketball program at Baylor. At the same time, without the support and commitment of Baylor President John Lilley and the Board of Regents to Coach Mulkey and Lady Bear basketball we would not be in a position to experience the success that we have achieved and will enjoy in the future.
How close are we to having the funding for the indoor tennis courts?
Brandon K Avants
We are very encouraged by the progress that has been made in raising the necessary funds for the indoor tennis facility. The project cost estimate is close to $7 million and we have yet to reach the halfway mark in cash and pledges as of this writing. However, we have received a large lead gift toward the project and with the support of the Baylor family and tennis community we are hopeful to complete the fundraising for the project very soon.
When is the deadline for football season ticket sales and how are sales going?
The date for fans to send in their football season ticket renewals is April 27. We have received a strong response to date and look forward to another record-breaking year in football season ticket sales. Last season, we had approximately 11,000 season ticket holders and we look forward to building upon that number this season.
When is construction going to begin on the football practice facility? Do you have plans that you can show to fans?
As I mentioned above, we are going to have a ground breaking facility on May 10 at 5:00. There is a great deal of work already underway including soil testing and environmental work. However, we are still weeks away from heavy construction taking place.
This project is a design build, so the final plans are still being developed by the architect, SPARKS Sports. In reviewing the preliminary plans, our staff is confident that this will be one of the finest buildings or complexes in the Big 12.