By Will Chamblee | Sports Writer
A lot goes into the success of a collegiate student athlete. While practicing, watching film and getting a good night’s sleep are all important, many don’t realize how important an athlete’s diet is.
That is where Baylor’s Beauchamp Athletics Nutrition Center comes in. Built in 2015 and known as the BANC, the facility provides food for all of Baylor’s 500-plus student-athletes and is truly a state-of-the-art facility.
The 12,100-square-foot facility is nestled on the shores of the Brazos, right next to all of the athletic facilities, including Jay and Jenny Allison Indoor Football Practice Facility, that are located across University Parks Drive. This location allows student-athletes to have easy access to healthy food before and after workouts, which allows for enhanced recovery, injury prevention and overall healthy habits.
Some of the most famous athletes in the world utilize diet programs that are possible at Baylor due to the BANC. Athletes like pro football player Tom Brady, former Olympian Michael Phelps and international soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo all follow strict diets, whether it be raw veganism or the patented TB12 diet plan.
This wasn’t possible for college athletes for many years and coaches– especially those who played when student-athletes’ nutrition wasn’t taken as seriously– have noticed the positive effects the changes have had. Baylor cross country and track & field coach Todd Harbour is one of them.
“They do a tremendous job for our student-athletes,” Harbour said. “The resources that our student-athletes have today compared to when I was here as an athlete. Night and day.”
The BANC has improved the performance, recovery and overall health of student athletes at Baylor and the results are tangible. Since its construction in 2015, Baylor has won seven team national championships and four individual national championships.
While the BANC is committed to help Baylor and its athletes win more national championships, its purpose goes beyond that. Kaz Kazadi, former Associate Athletic Director for Athletic Peformance, was the one who helped craft the BANC into what it is today during its construction.
Kazadi said the BANC not only helps prepare athletes for their time at Baylor, but also for their time after Baylor.
“The bigger guys get, we really are trying to encourage them to live a whole life,” Kazadi said. “It’s not just about athletics. When they come through the door, yes, you want to put weight on them; yes, you want to put muscle mass on them. But it’s got to be more important than that because they’re going to leave here. They have to leave with good habits.”