ARLINGTON, Texas — In his first season at Baylor, Head Football Coach Dave Aranda was put through the ringer.
Due to COVID, he was forced to install both a new offense and defense over Zoom. His season was disrupted several times because of outbreaks within the team, and he saw multiple key players bow out because of season-ending injuries.
It would be easy to give Aranda a free pass in 2020; he is not going to.
At Big 12 Media Days, Aranda said, "There's so many scars from last year that I feel, that our players feel. So, those scars can heal and they can instruct and we can grow from that."
In his first season as head coach, the Bears went just 2-7, their worst record since 2017, when they won just one game in Matt Rhule's first season leading the Green and Gold.
Aranda told reporters during his opening press conferences that the hardest part of the 2020 season was not the losses, but rather building off-the-field relationships with players. He hopes 2021 will offer more opportunities for growth between him and his "teammates."
"Better people make better players," Aranda said.
Baylor will need better performances out of those players in 2021 if they hope to overcome the foul taste of defeat from 2020.
"It was difficult," linebacker Terrell Bernard said. "Going 2-7 was not fun, but we're on the right path and we know what it takes to win, so I think we're all taking the right steps to do that."
Baylor opens the season September 4 against Texas State.