Kate Bayard
Kate Bayard
Title: Head Coach
Phone: 617-627-5076
Email: wtennis@tufts.edu

Kate Bayard, the 2021 Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Division III National Coach of the Year, directs one of the most successful women's tennis programs in the country at Tufts University. She is now in her 17th season leading the Jumbos.

During the spring of 2021, Bayard guided the Jumbos through their most successful year ever during the most challenging year ever. Despite the difficulties presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, which included the relocation of their home facility in order to assist the university in managing the pandemic, Coach Bayard led the Jumbos to unprecedented successs.

The 2021 Jumbos won all six of their regular-season matches, leading to the team's first-ever appearance in the NESCAC Championship Match. After earning an at-large berth into the NCAA Championships, the team won an NCAA Regional at Johns Hopkins to advance to the national quarterfinals for just the second time in program history. Competing in Chattanooga that week, the Jumbos posted a 5-1 NCAA "Elite Eight" win over host Sewanee to give Tufts its first-ever NCAA "Final Four" berth. Tufts finished with a 9-2 record and ranked No. 3 in the nation. In addition to National Coach of the Year, Bayard was also selected the ITA's Regional Coach of the Year.

In addition to the team's achievements, Jumbos Maggie Dorr, Caroline Garrido and Tilly Rigby played in the 2021 NCAA Individual Championships and were recognized as All-Americans. Rigby reached the quarterfinals of the NCAA Singles bracket before falling to the eventual champion. Named NESCAC Rookie of the Year for 2021, Rigby finished the season ranked No. 5 nationally. Dorr and Garrido were also ranked fifth nationally in doubles. 

Tufts has qualified for the NCAA team tournament 14 times during Coach Bayard’s tenure. Tufts hosted an NCAA Regional at Voute Courts for the second straight year and for the third time overall under Coach Bayard in 2018. Bayard's 2011 team was the first at Tufts to reach the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament. The Jumbos have also regularly been ranked among the ITA top 10, including a #3 ranking in 2017 that matches this year's mark as the best in program history.

Tufts has won three national titles in singles and doubles during Bayard's tenure. Julia Browne captured the NCAA singles national championship in 2010 and Browne with Meghan McCooey won ITA doubles national titles in 2008 and 2009. Brown was a three-time NESCAC Player of the Year. Jumbo players have earned ITA All-American status 23 times under Coach Bayard’s guidance.

Now in her 26th year of coaching overall, Bayard is a four-time NESCAC Coach of the Year including in 2021. She was also selected by her peers in 2018 when she guided Tufts to a #6 year-end national ranking. Also named NESCAC Coach of the Year in 2009 and 2011, Bayard was voted as Regional Coach of the Year by the ITA and the US Tennis Association (USTA) in 2009-10.

The Jumbos' commitment to academics, community service and sportsmanship under Coach Bayard is also highly recognized. In addition to their success on the court, the 2021 team carried an outstanding 3.83 team grade point average. Seven team members earned Academic All-NESCAC honors for having grade point averages of at least 3.50. Bayard’s 2017 team earned the ITA's Division III National Community Service Award. Six 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. Patricia Obeid, a 2021 graduate, received the NESCAC award this past spring.

A current member of the ITA National D3 Operating Committee – representing both the Northeast region and National D3 college tennis for a 2021-2023 term - Bayard began her coaching career in 1996 as the assistant women's coach at Yale. That was followed by head coaching jobs at Wellesley College and Dartmouth College.She 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 at Harvard, a team that was ranked as high as #15 nationally in Division I.

At Weston High School, she  earned Massachusetts State All-Star and Eastern Mass. All-Star honors in soccer while captaining the team, and in recent years she has been a volunteer coach for Medford Youth Soccer and Medford Youth Softball.

Coach Bayard lives in Medford with her husband Jeff and their daughters Hazel and Pearl.