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The Baylor Bears are the athletic groups that represent Baylor University. Baylor’s guys’s sports groups are named the Bears, and some ladies’s teams are named the Lady Bears. The groups participate in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) as one of only 2 independent school members of the Big 12 Conference. Prior to joining the Big 12, Baylor belonged to the Southwest Conference from their charter production in 1914 till its dissolution in 1996. Baylor is also a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.
The Baylor American football team opened the new $250 million McLane Stadium, situated on the current campus on the banks of the Brazos River, for the 2014 season. The opening of McLane Stadium, with a capability of 45,000, returned Baylor football games to the campus for the very first time since 1935. The Bears played their previous 64 seasons at Floyd Casey Stadium (called Baylor Stadium up until 1988), a 50,000-seat place found a few miles away from school.
The Bears compete in the Big 12 Conference are presently playing their 116th year of college football competition throughout the 2014 season. Over the program’s history, the Bears have been to 20 championship game and won or tied for 5 significant conference titles. The football program experienced a period of success lasting from the 1970s to the mid-1990s throughout the tenure of head coach Grant Teaff.
Since becoming an establishing member of the Big 12 in 1996, Baylor had its best season coming in 2013 when they finished with an 8– 1 conference record and 11– 1 overall. In 2004, Baylor defeated its first ranked challenger since 1998, # 16 ranked Texas A&M, by a score of 35– 34 in overtime on a two-point conversion. In 2005 the team opened 3– 0 for the very first time since 1996 and finished 5– 6; Baylor also won its first Big 12 road game at Iowa State. Also regardless of a disappointing 4– 8 record in 2006, the Bears swept the Big 12 North portion of its conference schedule and won 3 conference games in a season for the very first time since joining the Big 12 in 1996. On November 18, 2007, Baylor fired football coach Guy Morriss and announced on November 28, 2007 that former University of Houston head coach Art Briles as the new coach. Throughout the 2010 season, Briles led Baylor to finish with a 7– 5 regular season record.
The 2010 season was a breakthrough for the Baylor Bears although they suffered an early season loss to competing TCU. Baylor earned an invite to the Texas Bowl in Houston after ending up the regular season with a 7– 5 record. The Bears consequently lost the Texas Bowl to Illinois, nevertheless. In the regular season the Bears victories consisted of Big 12 conference wins over Kansas and Kansas St, in addition to roadway wins over Colorado and Texas.
Building on their 2010 winning season, the 2011 Baylor Bears went on to a 9– 3 (6– 3 Big XII) regular season, finishing with five straight wins including wins against # 5 Oklahoma, # 25 Texas Tech, and # 22 Texas. These wins helped place Robert Griffin III at the top of the Heisman Trophy ballot; he became the first Baylor player to win the award and the first Baylor player since Don Trull in 1963 to factor substantially in the ballot. The Bears commemorated their successful season with a 2nd consecutive bowl look by being selected for the Valero Alamo Bowl in San Antonio. The Bears went on to beat the Washington Huskies 67– 56, finishing the 2011 season with a 10– 3 record and ranked # 19 by the BCS & Coaches Poll.
Throughout the 2012 season, Baylor stunned the college football world by peacefully beating # 1 Kansas State 52– 24 in Waco. (Kansas State had actually dropped its 2 previous meetings in Waco 47– 42 in 2010 and 17– 3 in 2006.) A 12-yard Florence touchdown enter the first quarter offered Baylor a 14– 7 lead which was never ever given up. The Baylor defense highlighted the game with a stout goal-line stand in the 4th quarter and obstructed Heisman enthusiastic Collin Klein 3 times, the last in the endzone to establish an 80-yard touchdown run by Lache Seastrunk. The victory over Kansas State represented the program’s first and only win to date over a # 1 ranked team and stimulated a 3-game win streak for Baylor (with a 52– 45 overtime victory over Texas Tech in Cowboys Stadium and a 41– 34 victory in Waco over # 23 Oklahoma State). The conclusion of Baylor’s 8– 5 2012 campaign marked the first time since 1949– 51 that the Bears have delighted in three consecutive seasons with 7+ wins. On December 2, Baylor accepted a berth in the Holiday Bowl, sending the Bears to a third successive bowl for the first time in program history. Baylor quickly beat the # 17-ranked UCLA Bruins in the Holiday Bowl on December 27, 2012 by a final margin of 49– 19 after leaping out to a 21– 0 lead early in the 2nd quarter. Lache Seastrunk (RB) and Chris McAllister (DE) were named Offensive Player and Defensive Player of the game respectively. Coach Art Briles has actually led the Bears to a record of 11– 1 in November and December the past 2 seasons that includes 2 bowl wins.
In May 2016, Head Coach Art Briles, Athletic Director Ian McCaw, and University President Ken Starr were fired due to the Baylor University sexual assault examination. Jim Grobe took over as interim head coach for Baylor and led them to a 6-6 record and a victory in the Cactus Bowl over Boise State. In December 2016 former Temple coach Matt Rhule, was employed as the head Baylor football coach and provided a 7 year contract. Rhule subsequently replaced all the prior football coaches and support staff and completed the working with procedure in February 2017.
The Baylor Lady Bears won the NCAA Women’s Division I Basketball Championship in 2005. Coached by Kim Mulkey, the Lady Bears defeated the Spartans of Michigan State University 84– 62. Mulkey became the first ladies’s coach and only the third coach in history to win an NCAA Division I basketball championship as both a player and a coach, joining Dean Smith and Bob Knight. In 8 of her 9 years as head coach, Mulkey has assisted the Lady Bears to the NCAA Tournament. In 2010, Mulkey returned the Lady Bears to the Final Four, where they lost in the national semifinals to ultimate champion UConn. In 2011, the Lady Bears won the Big 12 regular season and tournament titles along with making it all the way to the Elite Eight before being knocked out of the tournament by competitor and eventual national champion Texas A&M. In 2012, they finished an ideal 40– 0, ended up being the first men’s or ladies’s college basketball team to finish 40– 0, and won their second national NCAA Women’s Division I Basketball Championship. In 2013, the Lady Bears won both the Big 12 regular season and tournament titles and made it to the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA competition prior to being up to Louisville in one of the greatest upsets in the history of the ladies’s tournament.