An old proverb states “If you enjoy what you are doing, then you have never worked a day in your life.” This saying best describes Bill Previdi and his forty-year passion for the sport of tennis.
Ironically, growing up in Howard Beach Queens, Bill had no interest in tennis. He preferred the neighborhood sports of stickball, street hockey, and baseball. When he was fifteen years old, his parents Bill Sr. and Marie enrolled him in a summer tennis camp. After additional encouragement from his parents, he began to take the sport seriously.
At Archbishop Molloy High School in Queens, Bill was a dedicated and accomplished student athlete. His diligent work ethic enabled him to earn the prestigious New York State Regent’s Scholarship. Furthermore, he earned an athletic scholarship to attend St. John’s University.
As a collegiate athlete, Previdi played for the legendary George Seewagen. Coach Seewagen directed the St. John’s program for fifty years and he was inducted into the Intercollegiate Tennis Hall of Fame. In his senior year, Bill was selected captain and the team M.V.P. At the awards banquet, his coach paid homage to him by stating “Bill was always the first one at practice and the last one to leave. He was more of an assistant coach than the captain and he was always willing to help his teammates.” Previdi graduated in 1979 with a B.S in Athletic Administration.
Professionally, tonight’s inductee has served in numerous positions. For twenty six years, he was the Head Tennis Pro at Guilford Racquet and Swim Club. From 2007-2010, he was the Director of Adult Program and the Head Pro at the Tennis Club of Trumbull. Currently, Bill is the Head Pro at Guilford Yacht Club. As an instructor, Bill places a strong emphasis on the fundamentals of the sport and the skill sets necessary for improvement. Additionally, he strongly believes that the etiquette of the sport should be taught to athletes of all ages.
At Branford High School, Bill has coached both the girls (1983-1997) and the boys (2001-2006) programs. As the girls’ head coach, he compiled a record of 210-38.
His teams appeared in thirteen state tournaments in fourteen years and they captured six league championships. The pinnacle of his tenure was in 1989 when the Lady Hornets won the State Class M Championship. Two years later, the girls enjoyed a perfect 21-0 season. Previdi coached the boys’ program to a 42-38 record, a divisional championship and four state tournament appearances. On the personal level, he was proud to have been able to coach his sons Matt (Class of 2002) and Christopher (Class of 2006). Both his sons were four-year varsity letter winners, state qualifiers, all league, and team captains.
Bill has continued his enthusiasm for the sport of tennis by competing in USTA single events in New England as well as nationally. Currently, he holds sectional and national rankings. Previdi also competes with his son Matt in father and son tournaments. The Previdi’s were ranked number one in New England and twentieth in the nation in 2008. The following year, they were ranked twenty-ninth in America.
Proving that tennis is a family affair, Bill met his wife Jill as they were both working at the U.S Open in 1978. They married in 1980 and the couple resides in Branford.