Lynch, Rhule lead Baylor in Big 12 honorees

WACO, Texas (Baylor Athletics) Junior defensive lineman James Lynch was named the 2019 Big 12 Conference Defensive Player of the Year and head coach Matt Rhule was selected as the 2019 Chuck Neinas Coach of the Year, the league announced Wednesday.

Lynch, Baylor’s all-time sacks leader, paces the Big 12 with 10.5 sacks on the year. He is third with 15.5 tackles for loss and has helped Baylor’s defense rise to the top of the conference in multiple statistical categories.

Lynch, also a unanimous All-Big 12 first team selection, became the second Baylor standout to earn the Big 12’s Defensive Player of the Year award, joining Andrew Billings (2015).

While also earning Defensive Lineman of the Year, Lynch and Billings are the only two Bears to earn both Defensive Player and Defensive Lineman of the Year in the same season. It is the sixth time overall in which the same player won both awards.

Rhule has guided the Bears to the third 11-win season in program history and a berth in the 2019 Dr Pepper Big 12 Championship game. Under his guidance, Baylor became the first Power 5 program to go from 11 losses to 11 wins within two seasons.

Baylor’s other first team All-Big 12 honorees include seniors wide receiver Denzel Mims and defensive tackle Bravvion Roy. Mims ranks second in the league with 11 touchdowns on the season and is third with 945 receiving yards. Roy has been a dominant force on Baylor’s defensive line tallying 51 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks.

Six Bears were selected second team All-Big 12 including junior safety Grayland Arnold. The Kountze, Texas native is second in the league with six interceptions. He is joined by fellow safety Chris Miller (55 tackles).

Also earning second team All-Big 12 honors were linebackers Clay Johnston (58 tackles, 8.0 TFL in six games) and Terrel Bernard, who ranked third in Big 12 with 95 tackles and added 8.0 TFL and 4.5 sacks.

Senior offensive lineman Sam Tecklenburg and junior fullback Koby Bullard were selected to the All-Big 12 second team from Baylor’s offense.

The Bears’ nine first or second team honorees was one off the program record of 10 set in 2013.

Baylor’s honorable mention selections were Charlie Brewer (Quarterback, Jr.), JaMycal Hasty (Running back, Sr.), Jameson Houston (Defensive back, Sr.), James Lockhart (Defensive Line, Sr.), Blake Lynch (Linebacker, Sr.), Xavier Newman-Johnson (Offensive Line, Jr.) and Tyquan Thornton (Wide Receiver, So.).

Chuck Neinas Coach of the Year
Matt Rhule (3rd season)

Defensive Player of the Year
James Lynch (Defensive Tackle, Jr.)

Defensive Lineman of the Year
James Lynch (Defensive Tackle, Jr.)

First Team All-Big 12
Denzel Mims (Wide Receiver, Sr.)
James Lynch (Defensive Tackle, Jr.)
Bravvion Roy (Defensive Tackle, Sr.)

Second team All-Big 12
Koby Bullard (Fullback, Jr.)
Sam Tecklenburg (Offensive Line, Sr.)
Terrel Bernard (Linebacker, So.)
Clay Johnston (Linebacker, Sr.)
Grayland Arnold (Defensive back, Jr.)
Chris Miller (Defensive back, Sr.)

Honorable Mention All-Big 12
Charlie Brewer (Quarterback, Jr.)
JaMycal Hasty (Running back, Sr.)
Jameson Houston (Defensive back, Sr.)
James Lockhart (Defensive Line, Sr.)
Blake Lynch (Linebacker, Sr.)
Xavier Newman-Johnson (Offensive Line, Jr.)
Tyquan Thornton (Wide Receiver, So.)