JANET THOMAS GRIFFITH
CLASS OF 2011
Janet Thomas was born in 1954 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Her tennis career began in 1964 when her father gave her a tennis racket for her 10th birthday. Thus was born a 40 year tennis career. She was ranked #1-2 in Oklahoma and the Missouri Valley section every year in her age division in singles and doubles. During her junior career, she attained National Singles rankings of #5, 7, 9, 10, 14, 15, and 21, with her highest ranking being #4 in girls 14's. She earned a few National Doubles rankings and had a second National age division ranking two different years. She qualified to play in more than her actual age division every year with the most being in 1968 when she played in the 14, 16, and 18 Nationals. She was selected to the Missouri Valley Intersectional Team 1968-72, won the Cotton Bowl singles at age 11, won the Sugar Bowl singles and/or doubles the next four years, won the National Hard Court Doubles in 1968, and received two National Sportsmanship Awards.
Janet played her freshman year at Central State University in Edmond. Her record was 22-0 playing #1-2 singles and #1 doubles. At the NCAA Nationals, she was one of eight girls selected to play on the Junior Wightman Cup Team. She transferred to Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, had a winning record at #2 singles and doubles, and was listed among the top 15 amateur collegiate players in the U.S. after the NCAA Nationals. She then transferred to The University of Oklahoma and played #1 singles and doubles with a winning record and the won the conference title.
From 1978-2004, Janet played competitively, winning the Missouri Valley Senior 25's and 35's singles and advancing to the quarterfinals at the National Family Equitable Tennis Challenge while five months pregnant. She played in USTA leagues from 1991-2004. In 1991, she and her team won the Women's 5.0 Nationals and in 1993 they came in 3rd. After that, she played in 10.0 Mixed Doubles going to Nationals every year and coming in 3rd in the Nation in 2004.
During college summers, Janet taught at the Oklahoma City Golf and Country Club and at Woodlake Racquet Club. Then later as a USPTA Teaching Professional, she was either Head or Assistant Pro at the Tulsa Tennis Club, Tulsa Southern, and Hillcrest Country Club in Bartlesville, teaching in the National Junior Tennis League program. She was the Head Women's Tennis Coach at Oral Roberts University for five years, had winning seasons every year, and was named Conference Coach of the Year in 1985.
Janet has been inducted into the Missouri Valley Tennis Hall of Fame and has been volunteering in the tennis community in many capacities.