The Baylor softball team earned its first Big 12 title and made its first-ever WCWS appearance to highlight Baylor's successful 2006-07 athletic year.
June 27, 2007
With a school-record 13 of its 18 teams participating in postseason play for the second consecutive year, Baylor recorded its third-highest finish ever in the final U.S. Sports Academy Directors' Cup standings with its 38th-place ranking nationally in 2006-07, which also placed it sixth among Big 12 institutions.
Baylor's program-best 25th-place finish in 2004-05, coupled with last year's 32nd-place finish and this year's performance marked Baylor's best-ever finishes in the nation's collegiate all-sports sweepstakes. Stanford won the award for the 13th straight year.
"Our coaches, staff and student-athletes are to be commended for the department's outstanding performance in the NACDA Directors' Cup this year," said Baylor Director of Athletics Ian McCaw. "Baylor Athletics is experiencing unprecedented success which has led to tremendous momentum and excitement throughout the Baylor family and Waco community.
"While this year's accomplishments are very significant, I anticipate even greater department-wide success over the next several years," he added."
In 2006-07, Baylor produced one NCAA national team semifinalist (men's tennis) among its school-record-tying 13 postseason entrants, five Big 12 Conference team championships (three regular-season titles and two tournament crowns), two NCAA individual national champions and 25 All-Americans. Baylor's five Big 12 Conference titles in 2006-07 tied Texas for third in the Big 12 behind Texas A&M's seven crowns and Oklahoma's six.
Baylor totaled 510.25 points to place sixth among all Big 12 institutions in the all-sports rankings, behind No. 8 Texas, No. 18 Texas A&M, No. 25 Oklahoma, No. 27 Nebraska and No. 37 Colorado. Just 2.25 points behind Colorado, Baylor finished ahead of Big 12 institutions Oklahoma State (No. 41), Texas Tech (No. 47), Missouri (No. 53), Iowa State (No. 73), Kansas (No. 66) and Kansas State (No. 111).
2006-07 Academic Achievements
While dominating their opponents in competition, Baylor student-athletes maintained their well-established reputation for classroom excellence. A school-record 80 student-athletes were named to the 2006-07 Academic All-Big 12 teams, including a record 64 first-team honorees. Sixteen of Baylor's 17 programs which compete in the Big 12 Conference produced at least two Academic All-Big 12 performers and 15 teams had multiple first-team honorees, led by football and women's track and field, both of which had 11 first-team picks.
Two Baylor student-athletes--football's Daniel Sepulveda (first team) and men's tennis' Michal Kokta (first team) received CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America honors. Sepulveda, who was honored for the second consecutive year, was the only NCAA Division I-A player in 2006 to earn first-team Academic All-America honors in the classroom and unanimous consensus All-America honors on the field.
A school-record 390 Baylor student-athletes were named to the fall 2006 (197) and spring 2007 (193) Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Rolls, including 45 with 4.0 grade point averages, and 82 received undergraduate degrees during fall 2006 and spring 2007 commencement exercises.
Baylor led the Big 12 Conference in both institutional four-class graduation rate and Graduation Success Rate (GSR), according to data compiled by the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Baylor's four-class graduation rate, which covered student-athletes who entered school between 1996-97 and 1999-2000, was a league-best 64 percent, while its Big 12-leading GST score of 88 percent was eight points higher than second-place Nebraska and 11 points above the Division I-A average. Kansas also registered a 64 percent mark to tie Baylor for the league's top four-class average, while the national average for all Division I-A institutions was 63 percent.
In the NCAA's other new academic success tracking tool, the Academic Progress Rate (APR), 15 Baylor teams scored above the national threshold of 925 in the latest report and no teams were subject to the organization's Contemporaneous-Penalties which went into effect with the release of the 2005 report.
Baylor's baseball program received a public recognition award from the NCAA Division I Academic Performance Program for having an Academic Progress Rate (APR) score which ranked among the top 10 percent within the sport. The Bears' baseball APR was 983, best among Baylor's men's programs. The Baylor baseball program was the only one honored in the Big 12 for APR excellence by the NCAA.
Three Baylor student-athletes were named to the first-annual Big 12 Good Works teams, which recognize community service activities three times annually. Football's Maurice Linguist (fall), women's basketball's Latoya Wyatt (winter) and women's track's Lyndsy Bedell (spring) were honored from Baylor. In addition, two Baylor student-athletes, track's Bo Price and softball's Chelsi Lake, earned $5,000 Dr. Prentice Gautt Postgraduate Scholarships from the Big 12 Conference.
2006-07 Athletic Accomplishments
The Baylor softball team put together its most successful season in school history, as the Lady Bears finished the 2007 campaign with a 51-16 record, tying the 2005 squad for the most wins in school history, en route to its first-ever Big 12 Conference regular-season title and its first Women's College World Series berth. It marked the fourth consecutive year that the Lady Bears played in the NCAA Tournament.
Baylor first baseman Ashley Monceaux earned third-team Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-America honors while third baseman Brette Reagan also earned third-team honors to become the first two-time All-American in program history. Monceaux was named to the College World Series All-Tournament team while Kirsten Shortridge earned Big 12 Freshman of the Year honors and was one of six Baylor players to earn All-Big 12 honors.
Baylor's men's tennis team kept its grip on the Big 12 regular-season title by winning its sixth straight crown (seventh overall), advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the 10th straight season and reaching the national semifinals for the fourth consecutive year. The Bears, who also won the 2007 Big 12 Tournament title, ended the year ranked fourth nationally after losing to Illinois, 4-3, in the NCAA Tournament semifinals. Baylor is the only men's tennis program to have advanced to the NCAA semifinals in each of the last four seasons and it has posted an impressive 118-14 (.894) mark over that stretch.
The Baylor women's tennis team, meanwhile, swept the Big 12 regular-season and tournament titles for the second consecutive year and reached the Round of 16 at the NCAA Tournament for the third straight season. Baylor finished 24-7 overall to record its third consecutive 20-win season and went 10-1 in the Big 12 to claim its third straight regular-season title and fourth in five years.
Zuzana Zemenova became the first three-time All-American in program history and reached the semifinals of the 2007 NCAA Singles Championship. She earned her third consecutive Big 12 Player of the Year honor to become only the third student-athlete in the league's 11-year history to win a Player of the Year award three straight years, joining Baylor's Benedikt Dorsch (2003-05 in men's tennis) and Oklahoma State's Maria Boden (1999-2001 in women's golf).
For the fourth consecutive season and the sixth time in the last seven years, the Baylor Lady Bears advanced to the NCAA Tournament where they dropped a 78-72 second-round game in overtime at North Carolina State. The Lady Bears finished 26-8 overall and third in the Big 12 at 11-5. It marked the seventh consecutive season Baylor reached the 20-win threshold and the fourth straight year it won at least 26 games. Bernice Mosby was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Year and honorable mention All-American after leading the Lady Bears in both scoring and rebounding in her lone season at Baylor.
Although the Baylor football team finished just 4-8 overall in 2006, it did win a school-record three Big 12 Conference games to improve its league victory total for the third consecutive year. After going nine years without a Big 12 road win, the Bears won a conference road game for the second consecutive year with a 34-31 triple-overtime victory at Colorado.
Daniel Sepulveda led the nation in punting en route to becoming the first-ever two-time Ray Guy Award winner and Baylor's first unanimous consensus All-American since 1986. Sepulveda also earned Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Year honors from the league's coaches and became the first four-time coaches All-Big 12 performer in program history. Redshirt freshman linebacker Joe Pawelek was a first-team freshman All-American and earned Associated Press Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year honors, the first Baylor football player ever to earn a Big 12 AP award. All-told, nine Bears earned all-conference honors and a program-record 18 received Academic All-Big 12 recognition.
In its second season of varsity competition, the women's equestrian program finished eighth in the Varsity Equestrian National Championships, which were hosted by Baylor at the Heart O'Texas Fairgrounds. Baylor's Western team placed fifth at the national competition while the English team finished fifth. It marked the second consecutive year the Baylor English team advanced to the national meet.
Baylor's lone individual NCAA champion came from its men's track program, as the Bears' 4x400-meter relay teams swept the indoor and outdoor national titles. It marked the fourth time Baylor swept the indoor and outdoor 4x400-meter relay titles in the same year and first for the Bears since 2004. At the NCAA Outdoor Championships, Baylor won the 4x400-meter relay in a school-record 3:00.04.
As a team, the Baylor men finished in a tie for 15th-place at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, while it placed in a tie for 10th at the NCAA Indoor. The Bears placed fifth at the Big 12 Indoor and seventh at the Big 12 Outdoor. Reggie Witherspoon, who took high-point honors at both the Big 12 Indoor and Outdoor meets, was also named the Big 12 Indoor Performer of the Year. LeJerald Betters was named the Big 12 Outdoor Freshman of the Year. All-told, the men's track team had 14 All-Americans, eight during the indoor season and six outdoors.
Baylor baseball advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the third consecutive season and the 10th time in 11 years. The Bears also reached the championship game of the Big 12 Tournament.
Other highlights from Baylor's successful 2006-07 athletic year included:
The rebuilding of the Bears' men's basketball fortunes continued, as Baylor posted a 15-16 record - Baylor's most wins in six seasons and the third-most in 11 seasons of Big 12 play. The Bears won three of their final six games, which included a 97-83 upset of Missouri in the first round of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Tournament.
The Baylor women's cross country squad advanced to the NCAA Championships for the fourth consecutive year, where it placed 30th. The team also placed fifth at the Big 12 Conference Championships.
The women's golf team advanced to NCAA Regional competition for the eighth consecutive season and placed third at the Big 12 Championships, matching its best Big 12 finish ever.
The Bears' men's golf team earned its 10th straight NCAA Regional appearance and placed seventh at the Big 12 Championships.
The Baylor volleyball team posted an 18-15 overall record and finished seventh in the Big 12 Conference (6-14). Baylor won a program-record 10-straight matches en route to its highest season win total since 2001.
The Baylor women's track and field team placed eighth at the Big 12 Indoor Championships and 11th at the Outdoor Championships. Nichole Jones earned Big 12 Indoor and Outdoor Freshman of the Year honors after becoming the youngest student-athlete ever to win a conference individual track crown. The Baylor women tied for 50th at the NCAA Indoor Championships and had their distance medley relay team earn All-America status, while the team did not score at the NCAA Outdoor, but had one All-American in Jones, who became the first student-athlete in program history earn All-America honors in the 800.
The women's soccer team advanced to the Big 12 Tournament for the first time since 2001. Goalkeeper Ashley Holder earned first-team All-Big 12 honors and an invitation to the Under-21 Women's National Team training camp.
While Baylor Athletics enjoyed extraordinary academic and athletic success, 2006-07 also saw the following administrative achievements:
Baylor University's five-year intercollegiate athletics capital campaign, "Victory with Integrity," has fueled the most successful two-year athletic development period in school history and continues on its way to achieving its stated five-year goal of producing $90 million in private support for the school's 18-sport NCAA Division I-A sports program.
All-told, the most ambitious capital campaign in the department's history has resulted in approved capital construction projects totaling more than $45 million, back-to-back record-setting fund-raising years for the Baylor Bear Foundation and significant growth in the department's endowment.
The Lt. Jack Whetsel Jr. Basketball Practice Facility and the Willis Family Equestrian Center were both formally dedicated and came on-line in the fall of 2006.
The athletic endowment has grown to $22 million while the Baylor Bear Foundation enjoyed its finest year ever in 2006-07, raising a total of $4.6 million for student-athlete scholarships.
Baylor football averaged 37,080 fans for its seven-game 2006 home schedule to finish No. 64 nationally. A school single-season record 259,559 fans passed through the Floyd Casey Stadium turnstiles in 2006, including a stadium-record crowd 51,385 for the Oct. 28 Texas A&M game.
The women's basketball team exceeded the 100,000 mark in total home attendance for the second consecutive year. The Lady Bears ranked No. 11 nationally in home attendance with an average of 6,295 fans per game. Baylor drew 119,603 fans for its 19-game home schedule, a school record, while its per-game average was its third-highest all-time. The program has ranked among the nation's top 20 in per-game home attendance five times in the last six years.
Attendance at Baylor men's basketball home games was 6,065, the second-highest average in school history. Some 109,174 fans passed through the Ferrell Center doors in 2006-07, the second-highest single-season total in school history.
Baylor's season baseball home attendance total of 101,719 was a regular-season school record, while its 3,180 per-game season average was also a Baylor Ballpark record. The Bears played before five of the 16 largest crowds in Baylor Ballpark history during the 2007 campaign, including the third-largest crowd ever--5,281 for the March 17 Texas game which came at the end of Baylor's spring break.
Baylor softball sold a school record number of season tickets and attracted a school-record 24,222 fans for its 27-date home schedule. The Lady Bears averaged a school-record 897 fans per game in 2007 and played before four sellout crowds.
With one quarter remaining, Baylor is on pace to top the $200,000 mark in licensing royalties for the second straight year and break its school-record total for the third consecutive year.
Baylor's first-ever student attendance loyalty program, the Golden Rewards program, continued to be well received in its second year. Student attendance increased in 2006-07, highlighted by an increase of over 300 students per home football game. On average, more than half (6,000) of Baylor's 11,831 undergraduate students attended home football games in 2006.
With one quarter remaining in the 2006-07 reporting period, Baylorbears.com had already attracted a record 103,209 unique visitors to the official web site of Baylor Athletics.
Nearly $70,000 in merchandise had been sold through Baylorbears.com through three quarters of the 2006-07 academic year, the third-highest total in the web site's six-year history.
Fifty-seven Baylor athletic contests in six sports were televised in 2006-07.
BaylorVision produced 145 events in 2006-07.
Baylor Athletics hosted the week-long FCA Summer Sports Camps for the third consecutive year.
Stanford University won the 2006-07 NCAA Division I Directors' Cup for a record 13th consecutive year. The award is presented annually by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), United States Sports Academy and USA TODAY to the best overall collegiate athletics programs in the country.
The Cardinal completed the year with 1,429 points, surpassing runner-up UCLA by 197points. Stanford score in 21 total sports, but only 19 sports counted toward the final total, 10 women's sports and nine men's sports.
Rounding out the top five were the University of North Carolina, in third with 1,161.33 points, the University of Michigan, in fourth with 1,135.25 points and Southern Cal in fifth 1,103.5 points.
Developed as a joint effort between USA Today and NACDA, the United States Sports Academy Directors' Cup program is the only all-sports competition that recognizes the institution in each of the four categories with the best overall athletics program.
Baylor's All-Time Directors' Cup Finishes