By Baylor Lariat Sports Staff
Male Athlete of the Year: James Lynch
The Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year reigns high among the male athletes on campus. The recent fourth round pick by the Minnesota Vikings racked up awards during his junior season on campus including First-Team All American and Texas College Player of the Year.
His production speaks for itself: 41 tackles, 19.5 tackles for a loss, 13.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and two blocked kicks. He was the most productive member of the defense that led Baylor to its most successful season in half a decade and the first BCS bowl in program history.
Female Athlete of the Year: Yossiana Pressley
ESPNW Player of the Year. ‘Nuff said. Another junior takes home the prize after one of the best seasons in program history. The First-Team All American took home every prize imaginable after Baylor’s historic run to the national semifinal.
Pressley led the team in kills and attempts, and she wasn’t a slouch on the defensive end either. She is now in seventh for total kills on the Baylor all-time list, and her 5.41 kills per set this season are good for fourth in any season on Baylor’s campus.
Coach of the Year: Scott Drew
This was a tough one, but the Baylor men’s basketball head coach edged out former head football coach Matt Rhule for the honor. After 17 years of mostly good teams, Baylor truly had a great one this time around. The Bears’ 23-game win streak set the Big 12 record, and the team won its first game at Kansas in program history.
Drew led a team that was ranked in the 20s in the preseason to the No. 1 ranking for five straight weeks. Before the cancellation, every outlet projected the Bears as a one seed for the first time under Drew. Who knows how the season would have ended, but he led a team without a consensus first round pick to the pinnacle of the sport.
Team of the Year: Volleyball
Even in a year that should be considered The Year of the Bear 2.0, this was an easy choice. The Baylor volleyball team crushed the competition on their way to a 29-2 record and a trip to Pittsburgh.
The Bears lost just one game in the regular season (at No. 4 Texas), and finished the season with wins over eight ranked squads. They were co-Big 12 champs for the first time, and they were a consensus No. 1 seed in the tournament for the first time. Head coach Ryan McGuyre has had this team on the come up for years, and signs are still only pointing forward.