Baylor athletics is enjoying a time of unprecedented success. In 2011-12, Baylor was one of only two schools nationally to have all of its varsity teams compete in postseason play. The year also produced two national championships, three Big 12 titles and two national players of the year. The 2012-13 season continued the success with 17 of 19 varsity programs reaching the postseason. In addition to Baylor football's Holiday Bowl victory, men's basketball won the NIT title and women's basketball reached the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament. Baylor claimed five Big 12 titles, 2 Big 12 Players of the Year and 2 Big 12 Coaches of the Year.
Baylor students are leaders both on and off the field, excelling in the classroom with Graduation Success Rates and Academic Progress Rates among the highest in the conference. Baylor has also produced the most Academic All-Americans in the conference since the Big 12 launched in 1996.
Success of this magnitude is enhanced through the support of faithful donors. The state-of-the-art Simpson Athletics and Academic Center, a part of the on-campus Highers Athletics Complex, provides 96,300-square-feet of space that houses the primary athletics weight room and innovative training rooms, football locker room, administrative and coaches' offices, tutoring rooms and a learning center, all specifically designed to support student-athletes and the staff members who work with them. The adjacent Allison Indoor Practice Facility features a 100-yard field with a synthetic playing surface which allows the Bears to practice in all weather.
The Jim and Nell Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center, opened in 2013, provides new opportunities for the nationally acclaimed Baylor men's and women's tennis teams. The facility features six indoor competition courts and spectator seating. The Hurd Tennis Center, home to the tennis offices, locker rooms and outdoor facilities also recently added a video board and other important updates to keep Baylor well equipped for continued success. The growing Baylor Equestrian program recently gained a new space for the team to prepare, practice and connect, with the addition of the Carlile Equestrian Building to the Willis Family Equestrian Center.
As Baylor Stadium rises along the banks of the Brazos, Baylor Nation eagerly awaits the return of football to campus. Stadium Founders Drayton McLane and family, John Eddie and Sheridan Williams, Paul and Alejandra Foster, Clifton and Betsy Robinson, Jim and Julie Turner and Baylor Healthcare System, and Bob and Janice Simpson along with Sheila and Walter Umphrey whose gift will build the bridge that connects the stadium to campus, provided the leadership that moved the stadium from dream to reality. Many others have come alongside these faithful donors to support the project's development.
Plans are on the horizon to bring the final athletic venue back to campus. A new Track and Field facility is in development and with successful fundraising will be built adjacent to Baylor football's new home. The 5,000-seat facility would also include a 13,500-square-foot indoor practice facility and a 6,000-square foot team building with locker rooms, training and meeting rooms and equipment space.
Scholarships to student athletes are also a priority for Baylor University. Scholarship support attracts outstanding student-athletes and gives them access to both the distinct Baylor education and elite Big 12 Conference competition. Baylor fans continue to put their pride into action. Thirty new endowed athletic scholarships were established and gifts to existing athletic scholarships increased during The President's Scholarship Initiative which reached its goal in April 2013, but there is still work to be done. Every gift, no matter the size, helps empower Baylor student-athletes to excel on the field and in the classroom.