Godfrey – For J. Thomas Crammond, or “Tom” as his friends call him, nothing is more exciting than watching professional tennis—and watching tennis is more than just fun for him, it is part of his job as a United States Tennis Association official.
Crammond, of Alton, is officiating this week at the 14th Annual Lewis and Clark Community College USTA Men’s Pro Circuit Tournament as he has every year for the last nine. In fact, it was at the L&C tournament in 2002 that Crammond “officially” became a USTA official.
“I have always enjoyed playing tennis. I started coming out the first year Lewis and Clark had the tournament to volunteer and that same year I got to see Andy Roddick play in it,” Crammond said. “When USTA umpire Cecil Wise asked me if I wanted to learn to be a line judge, I thought it would be a great opportunity and I’ve been doing it ever since.”
Wise said he still remembers training Crammond, and every year he is glad to meet up with him at the tournament.
“Tom is a wonderful person and someone we can always count on,” Wise said. “It is nice that he lives so closeby. Sometimes we’ve had to call him up at the last minute to help and he has always been here for us,” he said.
Crammond said every year he looks forward to the Lewis and Clark tournament.
“Tennis is a big part of my life. I guess I’m a ‘tennis bum’ as my daughter calls me,” he said. “I have so many friends who are tennis officials and players, and of course I play every week.”
Besides tennis, Crammond enjoys spending time with his family. He is a retired music teacher who was a student at Lewis and Clark before obtaining his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music from SIUE. He also taught music at Lewis and Clark for several years.
Crammond’s love of tennis goes back to the early 1970s when the Rock Springs Courts were constantly filled with avid players.
“It is great to be working at the tournament again this year,” Crammond said. “It gives me a chance to meet up with my friends and work with these very talented men’s professional players.”
The USTA Men’s Pro Circuit Futures tournament continues at the Andy Simpson Complex all week with the final championship set for Sunday, July 31. For more information or to volunteer, contact the tournament desk at (618) 468-6252.