On August 24, the first day of classes for the fall semester, the new Beauchamp Athletic Nutrition Center (BANC) opened its doors and served meals to an appreciative group of Baylor student-athletes. The BANC fills a unique niche for Baylor Athletics--providing an athlete-dedicated dining center close to Baylor’s practice fields, weight rooms and gyms that offers healthy meal and snack options to help them maintain top performance health.
Conveniently located adjacent to the Allison Indoor Football Practice Facility amid the Highers Athletics Complex along the Brazos River, the BANC features a downstairs dining room that can seat 160 people, an upstairs players' lounge equipped with three 80-inch LED televisions and a "fuel station" that will include drinks and snacks for the 500-plus student-athletes. The BANC reflects Baylor's commitment to meeting the nutritional needs of student-athletes through a rigorous assessment, education and implementation plan.
"I'm pretty much living the dream right now, having the ability to feed the athletes the way we want to. It's amazing," said Jana Heitmeyer, who was just hired this summer as Baylor’s Director of Performance Nutrition. "It allows me to talk the same language as them. I know what foods they're getting now, I know what they're going to be getting, so I can talk to them a little bit about what foods to choose and which ones to avoid."
With the BANC directly across from the Simpson Strength and Conditioning weight room, it creates a "one-stop shop" for the student-athletes where they can work out, get academic advisement and eat meals without ever leaving the Highers Complex.
"Pretty much every one of our student-athletes comes through here every day," said Deputy Athletics Director Todd Patulski. "This becomes somewhat of a main hub for all the student-athletes. We added (an 80-spot parking lot) out front, which makes it convenient for everybody. So, we have a better one-stop shop environment, which really considers a student-athlete's busy schedule. For them to have to travel from here to Brooks Hall, back to here, then over to practice … is just not ideal."
The BANC was made possible by a generous $3 million gift from Bob and Laura Beauchamp of Houston in December 2013. Bob, a Baylor Regent, and Laura's involvement with Baylor grew out of their experience as Baylor parents. Four of their children either attended or are currently attending the University. In addition to supporting the BANC, the Beauchamps served on the steering committee for the President's Scholarship Initiative and established the Bob and Laura Beauchamp Endowed Scholarship Fund at Baylor.
The Baylor soccer team has a stunning new facility to call home, and all Baylor Olympic sports are benefiting as well from the beautiful new Williams Family Soccer and Olympic Sports Center. The facility, which is the latest addition to the Julie and Jim Turner Riverfront Athletic Complex, opened this semester and was dedicated August 21. The center sets alongside Betty Lou Mays Soccer Field by the Brazos River.
The Williams Family Soccer and Olympic Sports Center features a coaches’ suite and locker and training rooms dedicated to the soccer program, encompassing approximately 2,300 square feet and including 35 player lockers. The facility also provides the soccer team and other sports housed in the Turner Complex with a 5,000-square-foot weight room and visiting team locker rooms, as well as public restrooms and areas for concessions and laundry. In all, the Williams Center provides soccer and other programs with nearly 15,000 square feet worth of amenities.
The building was made possible by a generous gift by former Baylor football player Billy Williams, BBA '63, and his wife, Elaine, in October 2013.
"Elaine and I are excited to provide the soccer team and other Olympic sports at Baylor with access to facilities dedicated to their use and designed to match their needs," Billy said. "We support the Jobsons and the fine record they have established since coming to coach Baylor's soccer team, and we believe it's important to position the program for even greater success with improved facilities."
For the second consecutive year, former Baylor All-American Jimmy Walker finished in the top 20 of the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup standings. Walker, who was a member of Baylor's golf team from 1997 to 2001, placed 16th in this year's FedEx Cup after a seventh-place finish in 2014. He finished the 2015 season as the world's 17th-ranked player, ninth among Americans.
An Oklahoma City native, Walker earned the fourth and fifth PGA titles of his career in 2015. He won January's Sony Open in Hawaii by nine strokes over Scott Piercy, posting a career-best 257 (23 strokes under par) in the four-round event. In March, Walker bested 2015 PGA Player of the Year Jordan Spieth by four strokes at the Valero Texas Open with an 11-under 277.
A member of the 2014 Ryder Cup and 2015 Presidents Cup, Walker is among eight inductees to Baylor's Athletic Hall of Fame this fall. Terry Black (men's basketball), Molly Cameron (soccer), Danielle Crockrom (women's basketball), Benedikt Dorsch (men's tennis), Bayano Kamani (men's track and field), Ed Marsh (football) and Tom Muecke (football) also were inducted.