For the third time in her career last season, Kate Bayard was selected by her peers as the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Coach of the Year after guiding Tufts to a #6 year-end national ranking.
Tufts hosted an NCAA Regional at Voute Courts for the second straight year and for the third time overall under Coach Bayard last season. It was the team's 12th NCAA appearance in their 13 seasons under Coach Bayard's guidance. Bayard's 2011 Tufts team reached the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament. The team has regularly been ranked among the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) top 10 for years, including a highest position of #3 in 2017.
In addition to the team's success on a national level, Bayard has coached Jumbo players to three national titles (Julia Browne won the NCAA singles national title in 2010; Browne/Meghan McCooey won ITA doubles national titles in 2008 & 2009). Jumbo players have earned ITA All-American status 18 times during her tenure, including current player Mina Karamercan who has been nationally recognized in three straight seasons. She and Otilia Popa were All-American in doubles last spring, finishing with a #4 doubles national ranking. Karamercan earned a #12 ranking in singles for 2018.
Now in her 14th season at Tufts and in her 23rd year in coaching overall, Bayard was also named NESCAC Coach of the Year in 2009 and 2011. She has also been voted as ITA Regional Coach of the Year and as the US Tennis Association (USTA) Coach of the Year, both in 2010.
The Jumbos' commitment to community service and sportsmanship is nationally recognized. In 2017, Tufts earned the ITA's Division III National Community Service Award. The team was recognized as an ITA National Sportsmanship Team Award winner in 2010. Five players recruited to Tufts by Bayard have been named NESCAC Senior Sportswoman of the Year, including two who went on to earn the ITA's National Arthur Ashe Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship.
Tufts is also one of the top academic programs in the country. They are an annual recipient of the ITA All-Academic Team award, which recognizes squads with cumulative team grade point averages of 3.20 or above. The Tufts team achieved an oustanding 3.321 GPA for the past year. Five Jumbos also received ITA Scholar-Athlete status for carrying GPAs of 3.50 or better. Shelci Bowman, a 2014 Tufts graduate, received Capital One Academic All-America® recognition that year.
Bayard began her coaching career in 1996 as the assistant women's coach at Yale, followed by head coaching jobs at Wellesley College and Dartmouth College. She was a teaching pro at Longwood Cricket Club, then Dedham Country & Polo Club, where she was head pro in the summer.
Bayard played her college tennis at Division I Harvard University, where she earned First Team All-Ivy honors four times. She was Ivy League Rookie of the Year while playing #1 singles and #1 doubles for the Crimson. Bayard captained two Ivy League championship teams for the Crimson, a team that was ranked as high as #15 nationally in Division I.
Prior to college, Bayard was ranked nationally as high as #3 in doubles and #26 in singles in the USTA final rankings. She won the USTA National Sportsmanship Award in the girls 16's division. She also earned Massachusetts All-State soccer honors and Eastern Mass all-star soccer honors while captaining her high school team in Weston.
Formerly Kate Roiter, Coach Bayard lives in Medford with her husband Jeff and daughters Hazel and Pearl.