Oregon daily emerald. (Eugene, Or.) 1920-2012, April 22, 1980, Section B, Page 7, Image 14

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In his fourth year
at Oregon, Tom Greider
finally aces the school
career wins record
Imagine being the number
one player on the Oregon men’s
tennis team, the current record
holder for the most wins in a
career (49) and the current
challenger for the record for
most wins in a season (17). Just
about anyone would be happy
with those records and accom
Not senior Tom Greider.
Greider has something else
he wants to accomplish. Name
ly, pitching for the Oregon ba
seball team. A tennis star turn
ing to the mound? Ludicrous,
maybe, but Greider isn’t one to
back down from a challenge.
His tennis career serves as a
sterling example.
When Greider hung his ba
seball glove up seven years ago
in junior high school to pursue
tennis, a college career wasn’t
one of his dreams. "I was a
much better baseball player
than I was a tennis player,” he
remembers. “I loved tennis so
much that I decided to work my
tail off and become as good at it
as I was in baseball.”
Greider's early “work” came
in the form of playing countless
hours against his father. "My
dad said serving in tennis is just
like throwing a baseball, and he
was right,” says Greider. "At
first he always won, but after a
lot of practice I turned the ta
By the time Greider reached
his senior year at Cobberley
high school in Palo Alto, Calif.,
his tennis game was going
strong. “I was 12 and 5 my sen
ior year and the competition
was pretty stiff,” he says.
During his senior year Greider
visited the University campus
and a love affair began. “After
seeing the campus and meeting
the people here, I knew I wanted
to be a Duck.”
While here Greider pur
chased a Duck tennis hat that
his Cobberley coach would not
let him wear. “I brought the hat
down with me and began using
it in my matches,” he says. "The
coach for some reason told me I
couldn’t wear it.” Greider, “in
fested with the Duck spirit,”
went out and bought a different
hat. This one was a Fighting
Duck baseball cap. “I didn’t buy
the hat to be cocky,” Greider
says. “I figured the coach just
felt that the other one got in the
His 49 career wins haven't all come easily for Oregon senior Tom
Greider. He is currently closing in on the Oregon season win
Tom Greider, at left, is quick to attribute much of his success in tennis to coach Buz Summers.
way of my game?. Since he didn’t
make me take the new one off I
guess I was right.”
One of the reasons Greider
claims to wear the hat is
because it keeps the sun out of
his eyes. Except when you
watch one of his matches, the
first thing you notice is that his
hat is planted squarely on his
head with the bill pointed back
wards. “I guess the main reason
I wear the hat is because I love
the U of O Athletic department,”
says Greider. ”1 want to feel like
I have a part of them out there
with me when I play."
When Greider and his hat
joined the mens' tennis team in
their freshman year, he was im
mediately impressed by the
talent. Recalls Greider, "Here I
was with my stupid little hat
playing against guys like former
career wins record holder Mike
Jung. I had a lot of work to do.”
As a freshman Greider ate,
drank, and slept tennis. "I
played tennis three or four times
a day my first year,” he says. "At
the time, that was all I was here
Coach Buz Summers has
been a big influence on
Greider’s life, and Greider does
not hesitate to give credit where
it is due. ‘Coach Summers has
been a coach, instructor, and
friend to me since my freshman
year,” he says. “He is just like
on of the guys and that makes
things easier on everyone.”
Now that Greider is a senior,
he finds the pressure of the
game and the weight of his
records quite demanding "I
could have got the record for
most season wins last year but I
choked away my last four
matches,” he says.
‘ Every time I get near a
record my play deteriorates.”
The pressure almost did Greider
in earlier in the season. "I had
lost the competitive instinct,” he
says. “Without that competitive
killer instinct a tennis player
cannot win consistently."
Greider’s killer instinct re
turned with the not too often
seen Oregon sun. “I was really
contemplating quitting, but
when the sun came out my spir
its lifted.”
Greider's tennis game is not
the only thing that has taken
shape since his freshman year.
He also has some very concrete
career goals in mind. “I decided
to major in Telecommunication
and I think it’s great. I would
love to be able to do the color
portion of a tennis broadcast
some day.”
However, Greider does not
limit himself to sports announc
ing. "I am currently interning at
KSND and KASH,” he says. “It's
great experience and I really
enjoy it."
If the Telecommunication
field does not lead him down a
rewarding path, Greider still
feels he has the option of
coaching tennis. "I got a job
offer to work with the juniors
program at one of the tennis
clubs,” he says. “If the chance
came up I would love to coach
at the high school level.”
As for professional tennis,
Greider is realistic. “I am not
nearly good enough to turn
pro,” he says. “I would just as
soon stay at the coaching level
after college."
Greider realizes that the ten
nis season will not last forever,
but he is unwilling to give up on
the Oregon Athletic Depart
ment. “I have slept outside two
nights in a row to get tickets for
the UCLA versus Oregon bas
ketball game," he says. “I’m a
Duck through and through and I
am not ready to break away
from the fantastic athletic pro
gram here.”
One night, just before bed,
the idea of pitching for the
Ducks came to Greider and has
haunted him ever since. "I'm
definitely serious about a ba
seball career next year,’’ he
emphasizes. “You are allowed
four years of eligibility in one
sport plus one year in another,
and I am going to take advan
tage of that.
“I pitched pretty well up to my
sophomore year in high school
and then switched to tennis," he
says. “I think with a lot of hard
work I can get my form back and
contribute to the team."
Although Greider is con
fident, he is careful not to be too
optimistic. "I am not saying I
can go out there and compete at
those guys’ level," he says.
“After the season I am going to
start training and who knows,
maybe a southpaw from Palo
Alto can work his way in.”
Greider feels his strength lies
in three areas: “My off-speed
pitches have good control, I do
not like to lose, and I'll have my
own catcher up here next year.”
Greider's ‘‘own catcher” is an
old friend of his who is transfer
ring here from a junior college.
"We have gone to school
together for a long time and he
is a good one,” he says. "He
knows the way I throw and I
know the way he catches — we
make a great team."
Greider will be finished with
tennis in mid-May. "My last
match for Oregon will be a sad
event,” he says. "It will be my
last hurrah.”
Or will it? Only baseball coach
Mel Krause knows for sure.
Story by Richard Hanlin
Photos by Steve Dykes
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