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Baylor building boom reflects Bears' surging success

It wasn't that long ago that Baylor owned some of the worst facilities in the Big 12. And not just in football, either. Facilities were scattered not just throughout campus, but Waco, too, including the dilapidated, off-campus Floyd Casey Stadium.

Now, as the Waco Herald-World's John Werner pointed out in a piece over the weekend, Baylor's stadiums, ballparks and athletic facilities lining the Brazos River draw the envy of other programs.

"One of the Big 12 athletic directors that was here a couple of weeks ago for NCAA tennis said you have the best athletic facilities in the country," Baylor athletic director Ian McCaw told Werner. "I think that's exactly right. Baylor has been very generous to athletics as far as allowing us to develop facilities in the most beautiful part of campus right along the Brazos River."

Since McCaw became athletic director in 2003, Baylor has spent more than $372 million on athletic facilities. The gem of that is the $266 million McLane Stadium. It's no accident that commitment to facilities has translated into recruiting success. The Bears currently have the No. 1 recruiting class in the Big 12 for 2016Insider; in receiver Hezekiah Jones and quarterback Kellen Mond, they also have a pair of highly prospects lined up fro 2017.

"Facilities equal commitment in the eyes of recruits," McCaw said. "Recruiting is the lifeblood of every college program, so our facilities allow us to recruit at the highest level in the state of Texas and nationally."

Baylor has been thriving, winners of two straight Big 12 championships. The facility overhaul is not only a sign of that success. It's a big reason for it, too.