Tom McSpadden

Tom McSpadden (middle) - Bobby Riggs (right)
1942 - Hawaii

Tom McSpadden

In 1936, Tom McSpadden was the Oklahoma Collegiate Conference Singles Champion and represented Northeastern State University in the NAIA National Tournament that year.  During World War II, he played exhibition matches with Bobby Riggs while in the Navy in Hawaii, Johnson Island, and Midway.  He continued his winning ways in Senior tennis, teaming with brother Ray to win State titles in the 45, 55, and 65 age divisions.

Tom McSpadden had over 50 years of tennis experience and was often called "Mr. Tennis Muskogee."  In 1937, he started devoting many hours promoting and developing tennis in Muskogee, Oklahoma.  He instructed many players regardless of age, organized the Muskogee Tennis Club and started inter-city competition.  For 18 years, Tom worked as an unpaid citizen-coach of tennis in Muskogee schools.  He produced many outstanding teams that won conference championships.  He coached tennis fundamentals, philosophy, and sportsmanship, giving equal time to all players.  He often reminded his students, "It's not important to win.  It is important to try to win."

The Tennis Center in Muskogee dedicated in 1986 is named for the McSpadden brothers:  Ray, Tom, and Vance.