For the sixth time in Big 12 Conference history, Baylor produced the league's top overall student-athlete graduation rate, as its 2012 federal rate of 71 percent tied the University of Texas for the top spot.
It marked the first time since 2004 that BU student-athletes had the Big 12's top federal graduation mark and the ninth time it has finished either first or second in grad rates among league schools.
Baylor student-athletes continued their winning ways in the classroom, too, as a school-record 159 individuals were selected to 2012-13 Academic All-Big 12 teams, including a record 125 first-team honorees. It marked the fifth consecutive year BU produced 100 or more overall Academic All-Big 12 honorees.
For the second consecutive year, a school-record tying 630 Baylor student-athletes earned Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll status-314 for the 2012 fall semester and 316 for the 2013 spring term. One-hundred-twenty-five (125) of those were named with a perfect 4.0 grade-point averages for at least one of the two terms-59 in the fall and 66 during the spring term.
For the 19th straight year and the 27th time in the last 28 years, Baylor produced at least one Capital One Academic All-American as selected by CoSIDA, as a school-record six student-athletes earned 2012-13 honors: Nick Florence, football, first team; Dana Larsen, women's soccer, first team; Kolt Browder, baseball, second team; Blake Niccum, men's track & field, second team; Lisa Sliwinski, women's soccer, third team and Taylor Jackson, men's track & field, third team. Larsen was also tabbed as the Academic All-American of the Year for women's soccer, becoming just the second Baylor student-athlete ever to earn this distinction for their respective sport.
Baylor has won a combined 51 Big 12 Conference championships—29 regular season and 21 tournament championships—in the league's 17-year history, 21 more than it earned in 81 years of Southwest Conference membership.
Baylor's 51 all-time Big 12 Conference titles have come in nine sports: men's tennis (18), women's tennis (15), women's basketball (9), baseball (3), soccer (2), football (1), softball (1), men's golf (1) and equestrian (1).
All of Baylor's 19 sports have made at least one postseason appearance over the last eight years. Baylor football has reached a bowl game in each of the last four years, registering back-to-back postseason wins in the 2011 Alamo Bowl and the 2012 Holiday Bowl. Women's basketball won the 2011-12 national championship as the first men's or women's basketball team in NCAA history to go 40-0; the Lady Bears have advanced to three Final Fours, twice winning it all. Men's basketball reached the Elite Eight in 2009-10 and 2011-12, and won the 2013 National Invitation Tournament. Baseball made the 2005 College World Series, and softball advanced to the 2007 and 2011 Women's College World Series. Men's tennis has advanced to the Elite Eight eight times in the last nine years and won the national championship in 2004, starting a run of four straight Final Four appearances. Women's tennis' has five Elite Eights include Final Four berths in 2008 and 2011.
A year after watching all 19 of its teams reach postseason play, Baylor's 2012-13 season produced a strong encore, as it advanced 17 teams to postseason play and won five Big 12 Conference championships.
Baylor's five conference titles were one shy of a school record and brought the Bears' all-time Big 12 total to 50 championships, which ranks fourth among current Big 12 teams just one crown behind third-place Oklahoma State. Baylor ranks second in the league with 41 titles claimed since 2003-04.
Baylor finished 45th in the final 2012-13 Learfield Sports Directors' Cup standings compiled by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), and fifth among Big 12 Conference institutions. Baylor earned 498.00 points to record its 10th consecutive top-50 season in the all-sports sweepstakes.
The 2011-12 academic year is now nationally recognized as "The Year of the Bear" (#yearofthebear) as Baylor achieved one of the most spectacular athletic seasons in NCAA history:
Over the last decade, Baylor Athletics has dedicated its energy to providing state-of-the-art athletic facilities to meet the needs of the players, coaches and Baylor fans. Baylor is continuing to build new facilities to house Baylor Nation.
Construction is now underway on a new on-campus football stadium, to be opened in the fall of 2014, as well as a new on-campus state-of-the-art track & field complex to open in 2015.
Existing facilities include: