The Baylor women’s basketball program has a new name to go along with its new coach. It will no longer be the Lady Bears and instead be known as simply Bears.
The program nixed the Lady Bears moniker from its social media accounts in early September and has since confirmed the change.
Baylor women’s basketball fan Pat Hickey learned of the shift of nicknames during practice, which was open to fans and the media for its entirety on Wednesday.
“My shirt’s still going to say Lady Bears,” Hickey said. “I’m still going to wear my (Lady Bears) shirt.”
Baylor graduate and longtime women’s basketball season ticket holder Lisa Fowler said she wants to know the reason for the change. But she loves basketball and the women’s game in particular.
“I personally don’t care, but as a whole I think it’s ridiculous,” Fowler said. “It doesn’t affect whether I’ll come watch or not. I would imagine most of the women’s basketball programs around the country don’t have ‘Lady.’”
Former Baylor softball coach and current facilities staff member Paula Young, herself a former Baylor athlete as a softball and basketball player, took time to watch the season-opening practice session. She said she likes the change because there’s no team known as the Gentleman Bears, so there doesn’t need to be a Lady Bears distinction.
“We’re all Bears,” she said.
That was Collen’s interpretation as well. Addressing the change for the first time, she said it wasn’t something she implemented, but she agrees with the direction the athletic department is moving.
“I just think that’s part of truly being a part of a department,” Collen said. “We were the only team that was still carrying the Lady Bear name. It’s certainly going to be a huge part of our history and we’re not shying away from that.”
Baylor softball also carried the Lady Bears nickname through last season, though Baylor officials have said that they'll be known as the Bears now, too.