By Wayne Sterling, CNN
Baylor University’s women’s basketball team will no longer be known as the Lady Bears.
The team announced Friday that it’s dropping “Lady” from its moniker, and going forward it will be referred to as the “Bears,” like the university’s other sports teams.
“Baylor Women’s Basketball has solidified itself as one of Baylor’s most remarkable and celebrated programs,” the school said in a statement. “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,” the statement said, “in that it creates consistency among Baylor teams while also highlighting the individual sport and contributions of its athletes and coaches.”
The name change comes as the Bears welcome a new head coach for the upcoming season. In May, Nicki Collen replaced Hall of Fame coach Kim Mulkey, who left Baylor’s program to coach at Louisiana State University.
The use of “Lady” in the nicknames of women’s college teams used to be more popular, but over the years many have opted to drop it and keep the names between the men’s and women’s teams consistent.
After Baylor’s name change, the only team in the Big 12 conference with the “Lady” prefix in its name is the Texas Tech Lady Raiders — though Oklahoma State’s women’s basketball team is known as the Cowgirls, as opposed to the men’s Cowboys.
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CNN’s Dakin Andone contributed to this report.
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