Art Briles joined Grant Teaff (1985-86) as the only Baylor football head coaches ever to win bowl games in consecutive years as the Bears pounded 17th-ranked UCLA, 49-26, in the 2012 Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl on Dec. 28.
Senior quarterback Nick Florence passed for almost 200 yards and two touchdowns, but it was the rushing attack, led by Lache Seastrunk and Glasco Martin, that carried the offense. The Bears dominating the rushing game, rolling up 306 yards and five touchdowns on the ground while holding UCLA's all-time leading rusher to just 34 yards on 14 carries.
After going 7-6 in 2010 and 10-3 in 2011, Baylor finished 2012 with an 8-5 record, giving the Bears 25 wins over the last three years -- a program first. Florence broke Robert Griffin III's single-season passing yardage record, and Seastrunk gave the Bears their third straight 1,000-yard rusher (and just the ninth in program history).
In January, ESPN named Baylor football head coach Art Briles the nation's third-best recruiting head coach, and he followed up the accolade by bringing in one of the nation's top classes -- and the best in his five years at Baylor.
Scout.com ranked Baylor's class 25th best in the nation, while three other prominent recruiting websites -- 247Sports, ESPN and Rivals.com -- all ranked BU in the top 30.
The class is headed by four-star recruits Robbie Rhodes, a receiver from Fort Worth; quarterback Chris Johnson of Bryan; defensive tackle Andrew Billings of Waco; and safety Austin Jupe of San Antonio.
Kaz Kazadi, Baylor's assistant athletic director for athletic performance, was named the national strength and conditioning coach of the year for 2012 by both FootballScoop.com and American Football Monthly.
Kazadi, now in his sixth year working with the Baylor football team, has been credited with creating one of the most athletically fit teams in the country. In addition to his football duties, Kazadi also oversees the athletic performance program for Baylor's entire athletic department.