Sept. 1, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Former University of Notre Dame men’s tennis All-American and legendary tennis instructor Jimmy Evert died of pneumonia Friday, August 21, 2015 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He was 91.
The father of tennis star Chris Evert, James “Jimmy” Evert was born in Chicago on July 31, 1924. During his career at Notre Dame (‘1943, ’47-’48), Evert turned in a brilliant career in which he compiled a 38-3 (.927) singles record, which still tops the all-time Irish list in winning percentage. He captained the 1947 squad that went undefeated and finished seventh in the nation, while he reached a No. 11 national singles ranking.
Evert reached the singles semifinals of the 1943 National Championship and went on to be ranked as high as eighth in the United States as a professional in 1952.
After retiring from professional tennis, Evert relocated to Fort Lauderdale, where he served as the city’s tennis director for 49 years. Perhaps best known for tutoring his own daughter, Chris — who won 18 Grand Slam singles titles and finished seven years ranked No. 1 — Jimmy Evert taught several of the nation’s top junior players, including another No. 1, Jennifer Capriati, as well as Frank Froehling, Brian Gottfried and Harold Solomon. Each of his five children reached the final of a national junior championship.
In 1997, Fort Lauderdale renamed its tennis facility the Jimmy Evert Tennis Center.
According to the Sun-Sentinel of Broward County, Florida, Evert is survived by his wife Colette, brother Jerry — who was also a Notre Dame All-American (1944, ’47-48) — sons Drew and John; daughters Chris, Jeanne Dubin and Clare Evert-Shane; and his 10 grandchildren. He was predeceased by brothers Jack and Chuck Evert.
By Joanne Norell, Athletics Communications Assistant