Bill Bertka

Bill Bertka, Hall of Fame Community Leader

It doesn’t matter how old you are or what you do, if you’re active in sports or some form of recreational activity in the city, the odds are good that Bill Bertka has had an influence on your life. Who is Bill Bertka?

Most new arrivals to Santa Barbara may know him as a current assistant basketball coach for the Los Angeles Lakers. But before that, Bertka, who still makes his home in Santa Barbara was director of recreation for the city from 1961-72.

While many others helped, Bertka had a hand in the development of Shoreline Park where thousands of local citizens annually enjoy their leisure time; he was one of the leaders in the planning of Las Positas Park where youngsters and adults alike can enjoy a variety of recreational activities today; he was the founder of the Round Table’s weekly press luncheons where hundreds of the area’s athletes and coaches are honored yearly; he was instrumental in starting up one of the nation’s first city-sponsored fitness programs for all ages and he was a leader in getting the city and Santa Barbara City College to work out a joint-usage program for the facilities at Pershing Park.

And if that wasn’t enough, Bertka helped promote local sports through his weekly award-winning radio and television sports show. He was also on the ground floor in the development of the Athletic Round Table.