Baylor women’s basketball claimed three major awards and six accolades from the Big 12 Conference this season.
Head coach Kim Mulkey was named Coach of the Year for the sixth time after leading the Lady Bears to their eighth straight Big 12 regular-season title with an unblemished 18-0 league mark.
Junior Kalani Brown was named Big 12 Player of the Year, and sophomore Lauren Cox was tabbed Defensive Player of the Year. Brown, Cox and senior Kristy Wallace all earned first-team all-conference honors; Brown and Wallace were unanimous selections. Brown, who also was a USA Today second-team All-America selection, became the seventh Lady Bear to earn Big 12 Player of the Year honors.
Additionally, senior Dekeiya Cohen was an honorable mention All-Big 12 pick, while Alexis Morris was named to the conference’s all-freshman team.
The Lady Bears also claimed their ninth overall Big 12 Tournament Championship, defeating the University of Texas, 77-69, in the title game. Brown was named the tournament’s most outstanding player, and she was joined on the all-tournament team by Cox and Morris.
Three Baylor men’s basketball players were recognized with Big 12 Conference yearly awards as selected by the league’s coaches. Senior Terry Maston was named Big 12 Sixth Man of the Year, senior Manu Lecomte earned second-team all-conference honors, and senior Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. was a third-team All-Big 12 selection.
Maston is the fourth Baylor player to earn the Big 12 Sixth Man of the Year honor, joining LaceDarius Dunn (2009), Quincy Acy (2011) and Taurean Prince (2015). Maston led all Big 12 reserves with five games of at least 20 points and was ninth among all league players in field goal percentage.
Lecomte finished the regular season eighth in the league in scoring, ninth in assists, first in free throw percentage and fifth in 3-pointers per game. His free throw percentage (.886) was the second-best season mark in program history behind 35th-year radio analyst Pat Nunley’s 1979-80 mark (.887).
Lual-Acuil finished the regular season second in the conference in double-doubles, third in rebounds and fifth in blocks. He enjoyed a 20-rebound game against Savannah State, the most in a game this season by a Big 12 player.
Baylor’s track and field teams claimed 26 all-conference honors at the 2018 Big 12 Indoor Championship, held at Iowa State University’s Lied Recreation Center in late February. The women’s team was seventh in the final standings, while the men’s team finished eighth.
Junior Kiana Horton claimed the Big 12 title in the 400 meters with a time of 52.60 seconds, the third-fastest indoor mark in program history. She is the first Lady Bear to win the event since 1999.
Sophomore Aaliyah Miller ran the sixth-
fastest 800-meter time (2:04.58) in school history en route to the conference title in the
event. She is the third Lady Bear to win the event and the second in three years.
Freshman Morgan Stewart won the program’s fifth Big 12 title in the 600 yards with the seventh-fastest time (1:24.41) in school history.
Baylor football bolstered its coaching staff with the addition of a former Big 12 and NFL star. Frank Okam was hired as defensive line coach in February after a four-year stint at Rice.
Okam comes to Baylor after serving as a rival during his collegiate career. He starred along the defensive line for the University of Texas from 2004 to 2007. There, he was named freshman All-America, earned a spot on the All-Big 12 team twice and played a key role on the Longhorns’ 2005 national championship team. He was drafted in the fifth round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Houston Texans and played six seasons before retiring after the 2013 season.
“Frank is a living embodiment of everything the young men in our program should want to accomplish,” Baylor head coach Matt Rhule said. “He’s a college graduate, an All-American, a Big 12 champion, a national champion, an NFL draft pick, and he continued life after football earning his master’s degree from Rice and is now one of the top young football coaches in the country.”
For more than two decades, Rick May and Lori Fogleman provided the soundtrack to the biggest moments in Lady Bears basketball history. The longtime broadcasters were at the mic for all nine Big 12 regular season titles, nine Big 12 tournament championships and the program’s two national titles (2005, 2012).
May and Fogleman announced their retirement from the Lady Bears radio broadcasts together at the conclusion of the 2017-18 season.
“They are two very, very good announcers, and two very good people who love Lady Bears basketball,” head coach Kim Mulkey said. “The team and the school are going to miss them on a professional level, but I’m going to miss them on a personal level. We have had some wonderful, wonderful memories.”
The iconic pair’s partnership began before Mulkey’s arrival in 2000. May, a well-known local announcer prior to joining the Lady Bears, assumed play-by-play duties in 1996. Fogleman, Baylor’s assistant vice president for media communications, joined the broadcasts two seasons later. Their 20-year partnership made them one of the longest-running duos in the game.
Before Baylor’s Feb. 17 game against Texas Christian University, May and Fogleman were honored in an on-court ceremony with Mulkey and “The Voice of the Bears,” John Morris. May and Fogleman were presented with commemorative jerseys, crystal microphones and future season tickets to Lady Bears games. In addition to the Baylor recognition, they were honored by Oklahoma State broadcasters at the Lady Bears’ Feb. 13 game in Stillwater and were recognized by the Big 12 Conference at the Big 12 Championships in Oklahoma City in March. Fogleman will continue in her role as assistant vice president for media communications.