“We’re super excited to bring Jeremy back home,” Thornqvist said. “He was an incredible asset to our men’s program in the years he was here. He’s worked with the highest-level of athletes and I remember Jeremy taking Jesse Levine to Dubai to train with Roger Federer, so we’re really excited to get his Expertise here. He has big shoes to fill, Lauren was not only one of the greatest players here, but a fantastic coach as well. Jeremy is going to be Jeremy, though, and I think that’s really important. We can’t wait to get Jeremy back to Gator Nation and get to work this spring.”
Bayon most recently served as the head coach for the Georgia Southern men’s team, taking over the role in June of 2021.
“I would like to thank coach Thornqvist and Florida Athletics for the opportunity to return to the Gator Nation,” Bayon said. “It is a privilege to be a part of a top-five athletic and academic program. I’m grateful to work alongside coach Thornqvist to help our team represent the Gators with intensity and compete at the highest level. Go Gators!”
Much of Bayon’s coaching experience comes from a successful tenure in the Southeastern Conference, first at Mississippi State from 2001-2003 with the men’s team, and then at the University of Florida under head coach Andy Jackson from 2003-2012.
During his stint in Gainesville, he helped the Gators to a Final Four appearance in 2005, as well as winning the SEC tournament championships in 2005 and 2011. The Gators were ranked in the top-10 nationally in eight of his nine seasons with the Orange & Blue. He assisted in producing 15 All-Americans and three SEC Players of the Year.
Following his coaching stint at Florida, Bayon founded the Junior Elite Tennis Academy and worked as the academy director and head coach for three years. After moving to Indianapolis in 2015, Bayon served as the Director of Tennis at the Five Seasons Family Sports Club in 2017 and coached high-performance juniors at the Indianapolis Racquet Club in 2018.
Prior to his stop at Georgia Southern, Bayon spent two seasons at Nebraska as the assistant women’s tennis coach. Bayon made an immediate impact on the program, helping the Cornhuskers to an 11-4 record in a shortened 2019-2020 campaign. In 2020-21, two Huskers received recognition from the conference. Kristina Novak was named First-Team All-Big Ten and Maja Makoric earned the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award. Bayon helped lead the team to an 11-6 overall mark.
Novak earned All-Big Ten Honors for the first time in her career in 2021 after posting a 12-8 singles record playing out of the No. 1 spot in the lineup in every match. In doubles action, Novak teamed up with four different partners throughout the season to go 8-9 overall and 5-3 with partner Makoric at the No. 1 spot.
Before joining the Husker coaching staff, Bayon worked as an assistant coach at IUPUI with the women’s team for the 2018-19 season and the women’s squad at Butler University from 2015-17.
Bayon was a four-year letterman for Mississippi State from 1997-2000 and was a member of four teams that made NCAA appearances, including one of Mississippi State’s school-best national semifinal showings in 1998.
During his four-year stint on the squad, Bayon compiled career records of 88-51 (63.3 percent) in singles and 82-49 (62.6 percent) in doubles, ranking him in fifth place on Mississippi State’s all-time list for total wins when combining singles and doubles play. He ranks eighth in singles and second in doubles overall.
More impressively, however, was Bayon’s victory rate in team match situations for the Bulldogs. MSU’s team captain in 1999 and 2000, he registered dual match records of 63-23 (73.3 percent) in singles and 57-32 (64.0 percent) in doubles. When combining those two marks, he is Mississippi State’s all-time leader in dual match triumphs with 120 career wins in team competition. He is third in Mississippi State history in dual match singles wins and first in doubles.
Bayon held national rankings in both singles and doubles for much of his career, climbing as high as 43rd in the country in singles and sixth in doubles. He closed out his career in 2000, his senior campaign, with his best results, qualifying for the NCAA Singles Championship. He was also an NCAA Doubles Championship participant in 1998 with partner Simon Larose.
A native of St. Etienne, France, Bayon holds a bachelor of business and administration degree from Mississippi State. Bayon and his wife, Rhonda, have two sons, Noah and Isaiah.