Lady Bears legend closes a championship career

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WACO, Texas (KWTX) Behind the success of this team sits a VIP named Julie Bennett.

For as long as anyone at Baylor can remember, she's been gathering information, making the Lady Bears success look like the simple, effortless work that it isn't.

It's a talent, a career 32 years in the making, but now with the clock at zero, sports information director Julie Bennett is retiring with the end of this season.

"I'm just ready. Ready to hand over the reins," she said.

Julie started in sports information in 1983 when her husband's Air Force job took them to Missouri where she decided to get her master's degree, unsure of what career to pursue.

"I really liked research and stats and working with student athletes and coaches, so I thought hmm, this might be something good for me to get into," she said.

It was a left turn for a sports nut who got a bachelor's degree in P.E..

But Julie was a natural hall of famer. Really, she'll be inducted in to the national sports information directors' hall of fame this summer.

Over 23 years at Baylor she's organized thousands of press releases and press conferences, spearheaded the campaigns of 16 all-Americans and been a behind the scenes fixture of four national championships.

But Julie herself never became a part of history.

Even now, at 66, she means as much to these girls as she did in 1993.

"I'm really grateful to have someone like her," said point guard Niya Johnson.

"She's always there for you," senior Kristina Higgins said.

"She's definitely a part of the family," senior Chardonae Fuqua added.

"It's like losing a part of your arm, a part of your body. She's just been a part of this the entire time I've been a head coach at Baylor," Lady Bears head coach Kim Mulkey said.

She really is as meaningful today as she was in '93.

Which makes you wonder, why step away now?

"I've gotten to do what I wanted to do; be a mom, now grandmother and work in a profession I love. So, I don't think I would've chosen anything else I'd rather have done," she said.

And Baylor couldn't have chosen anyone better to do it.