Summer coach highlight-Justin Bayman

By Haley Mitchell Godwin

Among the new generation of coaches, Luverne School varsity football coach Justin Bayman stands out as an example of dedication, service, and purpose. It took him a while to figure out what his purpose was, but once he did, everything else fell into place.

For Bayman, finding purpose is the key to a fulfilling life. 

“Life can be miserable when you don’t know your purpose or you can’t devote time to fulfilling your purpose,” he said. “As a man, you must have a purpose that drives you in your day-to-day life.”

Bayman holds an aviation degree from Alabama Aviation College in Ozark and is currently working towards completing a sports management degree at Troy University.

Graduating from Luverne School in 2005, Bayman played varsity football and baseball under the guidance of esteemed coaches Butch Norman, Mike Dubose and Andre Parks. Bayman said these formative years instilled in him a deep love for sports, teamwork, and the importance of a strong work ethic. They also laid the foundation for his future endeavors, shaping him into what principal of Luverne High School, Michael Kilpatrick, calls a dedicated and passionate coach,

“Coach Bayman is a dedicated member of Luverne High School,” Kilpatrick said. “He has tremendous love for our students, staff, and community. He takes pride in being a Tiger and does whatever he can to help the Tiger Family. Coach Bayman has continued the great tradition of  Luverne coaches giving back to our student athletes and helping shape their future.”

After completing high school, Bayman embarked on a six-year career in the Air Force, where he honed his skills working with explosives. However, his military career was cut short due to a medical discharge. 

Undeterred and yearning to continue being part of a team that works toward a common mission, Bayman went to work at Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation as a senior aircraft mechanic where he was a union steward for four years and remained in the position for 15 years. 

Despite his success in the aviation industry, Bayman felt a subconscious desire for a greater purpose, finding himself stuck in the monotony of everyday life. This desire led him to become a coach for his then four-year-old son’s youth league team. Little did he know that this experience would ignite a passion for coaching that would drive him for years to come and provide him with a renewed and unending sense of purpose. 

In the midst of Bayman’s coaching journey he encountered Correy Bozeman, a young and vibrant member of the Luverne community who had a profound and lasting impact on Bayman’s perspective and methods regarding coaching and life. 

Correy, a dedicated LHS Tiger and Troy University superfan, tragically lost his battle with a rare and unknown cancer at the tender age of ten. The strength and determination displayed by Correy deeply moved Bayman, reshaping his coaching philosophy.

Bayman reflected on his experience coaching Correy and his brother, remembering their playful fights, sand-throwing and occasional black eyes. It was through this interaction that Bayman realized the importance of allowing kids to enjoy their childhood while teaching them valuable life lessons. He said he discovered that coaching is not solely about winning but about guiding young athletes and fostering their personal growth.

As Correy became sick, witnessing his unwavering determination and zest for life helped Bayman also realize the importance of finding a balance between competition and joy. Correy’s faith and resilience deeply impacted Bayman, serving as a constant reminder of the values he hopes to instill in his players and his own son. 

“Coaching kids is very unique in the fact that if you open your eyes and your mind, you can learn just as much as you can teach,” Bayman said. “I think in the beginning my patience was tested trying to please everyone and win ball games. After watching what Correy and his family have gone through and watching him the last couple of years bound to a wheelchair, I realized the importance of allowing the kids to be kids, teaching them not only the sport that they are participating in but balancing in the ability for them to enjoy their childhood.”

“I am very thankful to have known Correy and for him to be a part of our lives. I know Correy has impacted my son Jax’s life a lot and taught him and other athletes from his grade, other grades, and even college athletes the true meaning of determination and the relentless will to fight against battles with no fear. More importantly, with sports aside, I think that we got to notice the most amazing trait about Correy, the fact that his love and belief in God allowed him to live his life to the fullest. Nothing could make me more proud as a father, for my son to continue on practicing and sharing those same beliefs with others.”

Now in his second season as a full-time varsity coach, Bayman also serves as the football recruiting coordinator for Luverne High School, ensuring the team’s future success. Additionally, he contributes to the school as a professional in the special education field, highlighting his diverse skill set and dedication to making a positive impact on the lives of young people.

As Bayman enters his second season as a full-time varsity coach, he is filled with excitement and optimism. Bayman commends Coach Rigby for his work ethic and coaching style, which he says has resonated with the players and fostered a sense of unity and determination and thanks him for the opportunity to coach the defensive line.

“I am extremely excited about this year because the season has a different feel to it,” expressed Bayman. “The discipline, physicality, and work ethic of the team remind me of the old Luverne spirit that defined my own high school experience. A lot of times you do not see a lot of talk about the offensive or defensive line in papers but with all great programs that is where your championships are won or lost. Overall, I think this is a special team from top to bottom. We have a great group of young men and we are excited about this season.”

As Bayman continues to walk in the footsteps of influential coaches who came before him, he understands the weight of the expectations that come with coaching in Crenshaw County. Bayman said that coaches like Glenn Daniels, Butch Norman, Mike Dubose, Andre Parks, and David Lowery have left a lasting legacy, not only through their winning records but by shaping their players into better men. Bayman aspires to follow in their footsteps, impacting the lives of his players both on and off the field.