The Baylor Bears (variously Baylor or BU) refers to the sports teams of Baylor University. Baylor’s men’s sports teams are named the Bears, and some women’s teams are named the Lady Bears.
Student athletes participate in the NCAA’s Division I, and Baylor is one of only two private schools in the Big 12 Conference. Prior to joining the Big 12, Baylor was a member of the Southwest Conference from the conference’s charter creation in 1914 until its dissolution in 1996. Baylor is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.
The mascots of Baylor University are two live black bears named Judge Joy and Judge Lady. American black bears roamed the majority of Texas in considerable abundance when Baylor was founded in 1845, and bears could still be found throughout many areas of the state until the 1940s.