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2014 BIG 12 FOOTBALL MEDIA DAYS

The 2014 Big 12 Football Media Days have been going on in Dallas this week with coaches and players meeting with reporters from print and electronic media outlets.

Baylor's Art Briles was first up and didn't waste any time in announcing the Bears' intentions this season. He used an analogy from baseball in saying "we're not going to try to bunt or get a single. I promise you that. We're swinging for the fence. We're very excited about 2014 without any question, because our guys have learned how to win at the highest level." The Bears finished atop the Big 12 in 2013 and will be one of the favorites again this season.

After a successful debut for Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury last season in Lubbock, the Red Raiders young leader said yesterday that being year number two makes a huge difference for everyone on the team. Tech finished 4-5 in the Big 12 but 8-5 overall in 2013 and hoping to continue the upward trend this season, behind Sophomore quarterback Davis Webb.

TCU is coming off a 2-7 season in the conference and just 4-7 overall. However, Head Coach Gary Patterson believes they can turn many of those close losses last year into victories this season. Six of TCU’s losses were by 10 or fewer points last season but the Horned Frogs will be transitioning to a more up-tempo, spread offense in 2014 under co-offensive coordinators Doug Meacham and Sonny Cumbie.

The eyes of Texas are definately on new Longhorns head coach Charlie Strong, who said they will try to put the "T" back in Texas with toughness, trust, togetherness, and the team concept.

Looking at the season, looking at the beginning, the start of the season, the first three games -- North Texas, BYU, UCLA, three teams that won eight games or more. It's going to be very challenging, but we're looking forward to it. But what's really great is I don't have to start that season tomorrow. I have some time. I'm looking forward to that time." 

COOPER INTRODUCED AS WBU ATHLETICS DIRECTOR

Some of the best years of Rick Cooper's life were spent at Wayland Baptist University and in Plainview. Now, he's back for more.

Cooper, who played and coached basketball at Wayland for 15 years before spending the last 20 years as head men's basketball coach at West Texas A&M University, is the new director of athletics at his alma mater. Cooper's hiring was announced on Tuesday before he was introduced at a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

"Having graduated from there and having worked there before, Wayland and Plainview represent home to Janie and me and our family," the 56-year-old Cooper said in speaking for his wife, the former Janie Denton who played basketball for the Flying Queens, and their two grown children. "We are really, really excited about it."

Dr. Claude Lusk, Wayland's vice president of enrollment management who introduced Cooper, said he believes serving as athletics director at WBU is about more than a job.

"This is a place that has given to him, and he wants to give back to it," Lusk said. "Coach Cooper brings a passion for what Wayland is and what we stand for, along with a passion for Wayland athletics." 

WT THIRD IN LSC PRESEASON WOMEN'S SOCCER POLL

The West Texas A&M women’s soccer team enters the 2014 fall season picked third in the Lone Star Conference preseason poll, as announced Wednesday by the league’s office in Richardson, Texas. Additionally, returning senior Rhea Belgrave was named LSC Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. The league's preseason polls and awards reflect the opinions of LSC head coaches and sports information directors, plus various media representatives from throughout the region.

Midwestern State topped the poll. MSU won a share of the LSC Championship along with the tournament title last season behind a 13-5-3 overall record and 7-2-1 league mark. The Mustangs collected six of the 15 first-place votes for 80 total points. Angelo State, the reigning LSC co-champions, was second with 72 points and seven first-place nods, while West Texas A&M was third with 61 points. 

 

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