Baylor Women's Basketball Drops 'Lady' from Team Name; Will Be Referred to as 'Bears'

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 4, 2021

Baylor women's basketball team celebrate their tenth-straight Big 12 regular season championship following an NCAA college basketball game against Kansas State, Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Rod Aydelotte)
AP Photo/Rod Aydelotte

The Baylor women's basketball team is no longer going by the name "Lady Bears" and will now be known simply as the "Bears" moving forward.

According to ESPN's Mechelle Voepel, Baylor announced the change Saturday with the intention of creating uniformity among all of its men's and women's athletic teams:

"Baylor women's basketball has solidified itself as one of Baylor's most remarkable and celebrated programs. While the use of Lady Bears is still very much a part of the program's decorated history, in an effort to be more consistent with the current nomenclature of the other 18 Baylor sport programs, the team will now be referred to as simply the Bears.

"This evolution is unique in that it creates consistency among Baylor teams while also highlighting the individual sport and contributions of its athletes and coaches."

Baylor boasts one of the most successful women's basketball programs of all time with four Final Four appearances and three national championships to its credit.

The Bears won it all in 2005, 2012 and 2019, and they have reached the NCAA tournament each of the past 16 years it has been held.

Baylor has reached at least the Sweet 16 in 12 straight tournaments and reached at least the Elite Eight in nine of them.

Kim Mulkey helped Baylor enjoy its greatest success during her head coaching tenure from 2000-21.

Following Baylor's loss in the Elite Eight last season, Mulkey left to become the head coach at LSU. She has since been replaced by Nicki Collen, who was the head coach of the WNBA's Atlanta Dream from 2018-20.

Voepel noted that the only women's basketball team in the Big 12 that still includes "Lady" in their nickname now that Baylor has abandoned it is the Texas Tech Lady Raiders.