PTR Hall of Fame

Luciano Botti - 2018
Botti is the seventh PTR Hall of Fame inductee joining Billie Jean King, Arthur Ashe, Dr. Jim Loehr, Jim Verdieck, Dr. Ludovit Cap and Dennis Van der Meer. Botti joined PTR in 1981. Seven years later, he was named the organization’s European Professional of the Year, and in 1996, was PTR Professional of the Year in 1996, PTR National Director of the Year in 1999. He is a PTR International Master Professional, and was member of the PTR Board of Directors for 20 years, and serves as Vice Chairman of the Board of PTR Foundation.

Botti is the PTR Europe Provider, ensuring the continued growth and success of the organization in Europe by forming alliances with national federations, particularly Italy, Germany and Austria.

Botti was especially instrumental in facilitating the partnership between PTR and FIT (Federazione Italiana Tennis). Since 2011, FIT has recognized PTR as the Official Partner for continuing education and professional services for Italian coaches.

In addition, Botti is President of Tennis Services, a company that specializes in managing tennis facilities and events. Fluent in five languages, Botti has been a contributing editor of Tennis Italiano, Tennis and other magazines. What makes Bottti’s story interesting is how he came to PTR.
Billie Jean King - 2016
King was inducted to the PTR Hall of Fame on February 17, 2016. In total, King won 39 Grand Slam titles in Singles, Doubles and Mixed Doubles, including a record 20 at Wimbledon. Her playing ability and activism caught the eye of another Wimbledon champion - and self-proclaimed male chauvinist - Bobby Riggs, who challenged King to a match that became the famed Battle of the Sexes. (Her coach was PTR Founder and fellow inducee, Dennis Van der Meer!) King’s victory was also a victory for women and the women’s rights movement to which she continues to be dedicated today.

King was the first tennis player and first female to be presented the Sportsman of the Year Award by Sports Illustrated. In 1975, she was one of Time Magazine’s Persons of the Year, and Seventeen readers named King the most admired woman in the world. Life Magazine named King one of the 100 Most Influential Americans of the 20th Century. The only other sports figures on the list are Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson and Muhammad Ali.

She is the first woman to have a major sports venue named in her honor - The USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. King was the first woman commissioner in professional sports history when she presided over World TeamTennis, which she co-founded in 1976. As the coach for the WTT Philadelphia Freedoms, King became the first female to coach professional male athletes in any sport. She also coached USA Fed Cup and Olympics teams.

In 1987, King was inducted to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. She is also in the Women’s Sports, the National Women’s, and the Southern California Tennis Halls of Fame.

She received the Champion of Justice Award, the Fed Cup Award of Excellence, the Arthur Ashe Courage Aard, and is the first female athlete to receive the highest civilian honor bestowed in the United States – the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Photo by Andrew Coppa
Dr. Jim Loehr - 2014
Dr. Loehr was inducted on February 20, 2014. Loehr, a world renowned performance psychologist, is the co-founder of the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute, and author of 16 books, including The Only Way to Win. He also co-wrote the national bestseller The Power of Full Engagement.

Loehr’s groundbreaking, science based energy management training system has been chronicled in leading publications, including Harvard Business Review, Fortune, US News and World Report and Fast Company. He has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Nightline, the CBS Evening News and the Oprah Winfrey Show.

From his more than 30 years of experience and applied research, Loehr believes the single most important factor in achievement and fulfillment is one’s strength of character. He contends that character strength can be built similar to the way that muscle strength is built.

Loehr has worked with hundreds of top performers in sport, business and law enforcement, including Fortune 100 executives, FBI Hostage Rescue Teams, and military Special Forces. Corporate clients represent hundreds of Fortune 500 companies, among them Procter & Gamble, Dell, GlaxoSmithKline and PepsiCo. Elite clients from the world of sport include: golfers Mark O’Meara and Justin Rose; tennis players Jim Courier, Monica Seles and Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario; boxer Ray Mancini; and hockey players Eric Lindros and Mike Richter.

Loehr serves on several prestigious scientific boards and is a full member of the American Psychological Association, the American College of Sports Medicine, the National Strength and Conditioning Association, and the Association for Applied Sport Psychology. A longtime friend, supporter and contributor to PTR and its Founder, Dennis Van der Meer, Loehr has been a member of the organization since 1976, and serves on PTR’s Sport Science Committee.
Dennis Van der Meer - 2013
Van der Meer is the inaugural inductee into the PTR Hall of Fame. Fittingly, the induction ceremony took place on Stadium Court of the Van der Meer Shipyard Resort during the Parade of National Flag Ceremony of the PTR International Tennis Symposium. With his beloved wife, Pat, by his side, Van der Meer was also surrounded with dear friends and his PTR Family. Lifelong friend, Dr. Jim Loehr, served as Master of Ceremony.

Van der Meer touched countless lives through his Standard Method of Teaching, World Class Academy, TennisUniversity and as founder of PTR. The boy who grew up traveling through African villages with missionary parents became a coach so renowned that Billie Jean King, Margaret Court and Amanda Coetzer sought his expertise. As an innovator in the field of tennis education, Van der Meer believed in sharing knowledge.

During the early stages of PTR, known then as USPTR, Van der Meer found that only limited educational materials existed for tennis teaching professionals. So, he set about to provide a series of handbooks and manuals by assembling the finest educators to write on the areas of expertise. To compliment the vast collection of written materials, Van der Meer produced a large number of videos. Since the mid-1970s, hundreds of thousands have learned to teach tennis in ways developed by Dennis Van der Meer.

Known for his uncanny ability to remember the name of everyone he met, his name will live on in our hearts and the PTR Hall of Fame.
Dr. Ludovit Cap - 2017
Dr. Ludovit ‘Louie’ Cap was inducted to the PTR Hall of Fame on Wednesday, February 15, 2017. Born in Czechoslovakia in 1945, Cap began his tennis career at 11 as a ball boy. From the moment he hit his first ball with a borrowed racquet, Cap was hooked. He played on the European circuit in 1964, but a scholarship to study nuclear physics in the USA lured him from the game . . . temporarily!

After two years at the University of Washington in Seattle, where Cap received M.S. in Physics and was involved with computer programming for Apollo mission, he transferred to Baylor to complete his education. There he assisted coaching the university’s tennis team, and in 1973, earned a PhD in nuclear physics. During summers at Baylor, Cap put his love of tennis to work teaching lessons for famed coach, Dennis van der Meer. The rest, as they say, is history. The nuclear physicist went to work full time for Van der Meer and has been on the court coaching tennis ever since! Sharing a passion for a game, Cap and Van der Meer became lifelong friends.

The friendship also spawned Cap to love another sport – running. During their first jog, Van der Meer blew past him, so the competitive Cap started clandestine training until he was good enough to beat his friend. Not just good enough to win a friendly jog, but good enough to finish a marathon. Cap has completed 40 consecutive Boston Marathons.

In addition to teaching countless thousands of students on Van der Meer courts in the USA, Cap travels the world for Professional Tennis Registry, training and certifying aspiring tennis coaches to teach tennis using fundamentally sound techniques. More importantly, Cap has been shaping tennis around the world as many national federations, including Hungary and Taiwan, invite him to train their top coaches.

Prior to his induction to the PTR Hall of Fame, Cap was one of the charter PTR International Master Professionals, was named PTR Professional of the Year in 1993, and PTR Tester of the Year in 2006.
Arthur Ashe - 2015
Ashe was inducted posthumously to the PTR Hall of Fame on February 19, 2015. Ashe is a legend. To this day, he remains a hero to people of all ages and races, not only for breaking color barriers on the tennis court, but for using his fame as an elite player to speak out - and be heard - against moral inequalities off the court.

Growing up in the segregated South impacted Ashe, who became a groundbreaking leader for social justice and change. Health issues led him to promote heart health and lead the fight against HIV and AIDS. He even won an Emmy for co-writing the documentary A Hard Road to Glory. He did so much for so many in his short life.

As great ambassador to tennis, Ashe received many honors. He was inducted to the International Tennis and the Intercollegiate Tennis Halls of Fame. He received the Jefferson Award for Greatest Public Service Benefiting the Disadvantaged and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Named for him are the Arthur Ashe Athletic Center in Richmond, Virginia, his alma mater UCLA has the Arthur Ashe Student Health and Wellness Center and, of course there’s Arthur Ashe Kids Day and Arthur Ashe Stadium at the USTA National Tennis Center. The ESPY Awards annually present the Arthur Ashe for Courage Award.

In addition to his true humanitarian efforts, induction to the PTR Hall of Fame reflects his service in our organization. In addition to speaking at the PTR Symposium twice, Ashe played a key role in PTR’s quest to increase diversity throughout our organization. It was at his insistence that PTR began to require certification in our ACE Program, and he served as the program’s spokesperson. That moment was the genesis that helped change the complexion of our membership. In his honor, PTR’s ACE Program continues to help educate and develop the next generation of tennis coaches.

A champion in the truest sense of the word, Arthur Ashe was - and is still - an inspiration to us all.
Jim Verdieck - 2014
Coach Verdieck was inducted on February 20, 2014. A coaching legend, Verdieck may be best known for his work at the University of Redlands, where the tennis courts now bear his name. From 1946-1984, he coached the Redlands’ men's tennis teams to 921 victories and only 281 defeats. His teams captured 34 titles in 38 years of SCIAC competition, and boasted 11 NAIA national championships and three NCAA titles.

Simultaneously, he coached the university’s football team to 36-21-2 from 1953-1958. His Bulldogs proved perfect in 1956, with a 10-0 record. It is no wonder Verdieck long held the title of ‘winningest coach’ in small college history.

In high school, Verdieck was a member of the football, basketball, baseball and track teams, only taking up tennis after his senior year. At Bernadino Valley Junior College, he lettered in football, basketball, baseball and track. In 1940, entering Stanford University as a junior, he was outclassed by the tennis team, which included future Grand Slam champion, Ted Schroeder, so he became a member of the football team that went undefeated and won the Rose Bowl.

After graduation and three years as a Marine pilot during World War II, for which he received a Distinguished Flying Cross for bravery, his career as a coach began.

A consummate learner, Verdieck earned a Masters degree in the Physiology of Exercise, and completed all the requirements for a doctorate, but never submitted his dissertation. As student of any game, Verdieck studied fundamentals and techniques. As early as 1941, he was analyzing players’ strokes. Every student became his laboratory. This performance analysis and match charting would become the cornerstone of his coaching style and influence thousands of coaches to come.

Verdieck received many accolades, including NAIA National Tennis Coach of the Year thrice, and induction to the NAIA and ITA Halls of Fame. A charter member of PTR, Verdieck served on the organization’s Board of Directors, and for more than a decade was Special Advisor to the President for Player Development. He was the first to receive a plaque designating Centre Court at Van der Meer Shipyard Racquet Club as the Court of Honor.
The PTR Hall of Fame was created to preserve history and honor excellence. The PTR Board of Directors elects members for enshrinement. Candidates must be current or retired PTR members who were current with PTR for a minimum of 15 years. Candidates must have contributed to PTR and the game of tennis in a way that far exceeds the norm. Induction into the Hall of Fame is considered PTR’s highest honor. Go to Nomination Form