CLASS OF 2000
Dick Gilkey grew up in Seminole, Oklahoma, and started playing tennis in the 7th grade with a racket obtained with Green Stamps. He never had a formal tennis lesson, but learned the game from Dewey Allen, the Seminole High School tennis coach.
He played his first ever tournament in the 9th grade at the State Junior High School tournament, losing to Eddie Blackmon of Ada in the finals. His next tournament was the Shawnee Junior Open, again losing to Blackmon in the finals. His Sophomore and Junior years he beat Blackmon in the finals of the State High School Tournament at # 1 Singles, never losing to him again. In the summer of 1963, Dick was involved in a serious automobile accident where the doctors were required to remove most of his left quadracep. His surgeons informed him that he might not walk again. After three weeks in the hospital and a lengthy recovery, he again won the State High School Tournament at # 1 Singles his Senior year, completing his high school career with three state championships.
After receiving full tennis scholarship offers from five different schools, he agreed to play for Coach Jerry Keen at the University of Oklahoma. Freshman were not allowed to play varsity then, but in his next three years he won three Big-8 Conference singles titles.
He graduated from O.U. in 1970 with a degree in Pharmacy, moved to Oklahoma City, and began work as a Pharmacist. For seven years, he managed a pharmacy in Oklahoma City until becoming the Head Tennis Professional at Woodlake Racquet Club in 1977. In 1980 he became the Head Tennis Professional for Oklahoma City and managed the Oklahoma City Tennis Center. He ran many local, state, sectional, and national tournaments over a twenty-two year career at the Tennis Center. He also played numerous local, state, and sectional tournaments during this period, attaining the # 1 ranking in Oklahoma and the Missouri Valley Section in Mixed Doubles with his wife, Jodie, who was also a State Champion in high school.
In 2002 he retired from tennis and returned to Pharmacy. He and Jodie have been married since 1967 and have one son, Jason, who is the Head Tennis Professional at Bellemeade Country Club in Nashville, Tennessee. They have two grandchildren.
Dick has been inducted into the Seminole High School Hall of Fame, the Missouri Valley Tennis Hall of Fame, and the Missouri Valley Professional Tennis Teachers Hall of Fame.