Hilton Head Island’s Louie Cap, who once coached Billie Jean King and a 40-year colleague of Dennis Van der Meer, will stand alongside the duo next year as the newest inductee to the Professional Tennis Registry Hall of Fame.
The longtime Van der Meer Academy instructor and one of PTR’s first International Master Professionals was named Monday to become the hall’s sixth member. Induction ceremonies will take place Feb. 15 as part of the PTR’s annual awards banquet at the Sonesta Resort.
PTR, based on Hilton Head Island, is the largest global organization of tennis teaching professionals, with more than 15,000 members in 127 countries. The Hall of Fame was created to preserve history and honor excellence.
King was last year’s inductee, with the late Arthur Ashe preceding her in 2015. Van der Meer, Jim Verdieck and Dr. Jim Loehr round out the hall’s membership.
Cap, born in the former Czechoslovakia, was introduced to tennis at age 11 as a ball boy. He played on the European circuit in 1964 but stepped away from the game to study nuclear physics in the United States.
Cap earned a master’s degree at the University of Washington and his doctorate at Baylor, coaching tennis in the summers. It was during that time that he met Van der Meer, who offered him the chance to trade in Cold War science for his first love.
Now 71, Cap still travels abroad to train and certify aspiring tennis coaches for PTR membership. He has been sought by a handful of national federations, including Hungary and Taiwan, to train their top coaches.
An avid runner, Cap also has completed 40 consecutive Boston Marathons, still finishing in under 5 hours a year ago.
The PTR banquet is part of a weeklong symposium by PTR, which is dedicated to educating, certifying and servicing tennis teachers and coaches to grow the game. The symposium features more than 40 educational presentations for tennis teachers and coaches, a trade show and tournament.