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Genoa Griffin


Material Information

Genoa Griffin
Series Title:
USF 50th (2006) anniversary oral history project
Physical Description:
1 sound file (60 min.) : digital, MPEG4 file + ;
Griffin, Genoa
Huse, Andrew T
University of South Florida Libraries -- Florida Studies Center. -- Oral History Program
University of South Florida -- Tampa Library
University of South Florida Tampa Library
Place of Publication:
Tampa, Fla
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Sailing   ( lcsh )
Oral history   ( local )
Online audio   ( local )
Oral history.   ( local )
Online audio.   ( local )
interview   ( marcgt )


Genoa Griffin discusses coming to USF for the sailing team and the experiences she shared with her teammates. She also discusses her personal history in sailing.
Interview conducted May 28, 2004.
System Details:
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
System Details:
Streaming audio.
Statement of Responsibility:
interviewed by Andrew Huse.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 029139796
oclc - 262478864
usfldc doi - U23-00163
usfldc handle - u23.163
System ID:

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COPYRIGHT NOTICE This Oral History is copyrighted by the University of South Florida Libraries Oral History Program on behalf of the Board of Trustees of the University of South Florida. Copyright, 200 8 University of South Florida. All rights, reserved. T his oral history may be used for research, instruction, and private study under the provisions of the Fair Use. Fair Use is a provision of the United States Copyright Law (United States Code, Title 17, section 107), which allows limited use of copyrighted materials under certain conditions. Fair Use limits the amount of material that may be used. For all other permissions and requests, contact the UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA LIBRARIES ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at the University of South Florida, 4202 E. Fowler Avenue, LIB 122, Tampa, FL 33620.


1 USF Florida Studies Center Oral History Program USF 50 th History Anniversary Project Narrator: Genoa Griffin Interviewer: Andrew Huse Current Position: USF student; Member of the Location of Interview: Tampa USF Sailing Team Campus Libr ary Date of Interview: May 28, 2004 Abstractor: Jared G. Toney Editor: Danielle E. Riley Date of Abstract: July 20, 2004 Date of Edit: August 6, 2004 Final Editor: Jared G. Toney TOPICS OF DISCUSSION Ms. Griffin came to USF as a student in 1999 Background Ms. Griffin went to school at Plant High School in Tampa, where she was actively involved with the sailing team. After her high school graduation, she first went to college for one year at Florida Atlantic University for swimming. Because she missed sailing so much, and Tampa was closer to her parents, she decided to transfer to the University of South Florida. "I felt welcome, so I made the change and transferred over to USF" in August of 1999. Before deciding to make the move to USF, she w as contacted by Steve Lang and a number of sailing team members whom she knew from high school. USF sailing team "There is such a different vibe ... on the USF sailing team ... It really wasn't a hard transition because everyone made me feel warm and wel comed ... I felt more comfortable ... here at USF." When she first joined the team at USF, sailing was not yet a varsity sport, but was instead a "club level" activity for students. "It was still pretty new at that point ... putting the whole team togethe r. I think that's also why I didn't feel so intimidated ... When we first started, we had a meeting and then we went out to practice." Competitive sailing The hardest part of sailing competitively for the team, Griffin recalls, was learning to sail with a nother person rather than individually, as she was accustomed to doing. "I had to learn how to work with somebody else in the boat ... when I had a crew ... I had to realize you can't get frustrated or mad at them ... So that was probably the hardest, was getting used to that type of [sailing] ... you have to respect [your crew] ... and work with them."


2 Communication Communication, she asserts, is one of the most crucial components to a successful competitive sailing team. "Communication is the biggest par t ... you're doing this for the team, you want to get better as a whole." Travel The team also learned valuable lessons when traveling to compete against other schools such as Harvard and Yale, where teamwork was essential to being successful. "It's very similar to any sport." Even though still only a club, the USF sailing team would compete against other varsity teams at various regattas around the country. "We didn't of course get the funding that we needed as much, and it made things a little more diff icult." Supporting the sport "We support any sailing team. We support sailing itself. That's the one thing that I think is really nice. It's competitive definitely ... but in the end, we're supporting the sport of sailing." Childhood experiences with sai ling Ms. Griffin was first drawn to sailing as a child when her father sat her down one summer and gave her two activities from which to choose: She could either join the Davis Island Yacht Club and learn to sail, or take a computer business course. She ch ose sailing. "Funny thing is, I really didn't want to. I loved cruising around with my parents ... Well, I ended up liking it loved it, joined the sailing team, and it just kind of grew from there." Personal appeal "It [is] a certain satisfaction you ge t when you're out there on the water. It makes you feel good ... Even if you don't win, you build confidence, you get a certain self satisfaction of knowing you did your best, and ... it's something that's in my blood, I feel like ... It's a feeling that y ou get I don't even know how to describe it." Origins of her name Her first name, Genoa, actually comes from a particular type of sail. "It's the name of a job on a sailboat, and so that's what my parents named me after they're very sailing oriented .. With a name like that ... I kind of had no choice I would have to sail. So it's a good thing I liked it!" Academics Academically, she did not yet know what exactly she wanted to study. Though she went on to earn her degree in marketing, she hopes to return to school to pursue an advanced degree in a different field, perhaps in marine biology. It took Ms. Griffin a couple of years in school to figure out what area she wanted to major in. "I changed majors a couple of times ... I just jumped around ta king classes that didn't really help me graduate any sooner." Finally, she decided on marketing. "They had a ... great program here, and I just went with it ... It was sort of like I just picked a major, and I was there for the sailing!" Marketing, however was something she felt she could


3 use after she graduated. Now, however, her focus has been refined and she wants very much to go back to school. Commuting to St. Petersburg For four years, Ms. Griffin would drive to the St. Petersburg campus three or four times a week for sailing practices. She also had to arrange her classes around a hectic and demanding practice schedule. Learning experiences "I've really learned a lot over the past four years on the team ... about myself ... at the same time, you build friendship[s] that last forever ... you get to know people a lot ... you learn a lot about other people too." Asked what she brought to the team, Ms. Griffin believes that, "Part of it is the confidence ... I was very aggressive ... and I always tri ed to make whoever was on the team feel welcomed." Role on the sailing team Ms. Griffin served as the team captain for two years, and then as the team commodore. "So I tried to be a role model for everybody, but at the same time I kind of had my role mode ls as well ... I wanted to be somebody they could rely on ... When you do that, I think it rubs off on other people." Recognition for USF "It's great representing USF and seeing our name on the ranking list now ... We're becoming more recognizable it's bringing more recruits in, and that to me is just so great." Social events for the team In addition to competitions, members of the sailing team spent a lot of time together off the water as well. "The reason we had a ... tight bond ... was because we did a lot of events ... together" for functions such as bowling, cookouts, holiday parties, and banquets. "You get to know everybody in every form." Attaining varsity status A particularly important time, Ms. Griffin recalls, was when sailing gained status as a varsity sport at USF. "It was a great feeling. We were able to compete more. We had respect from USF ... we felt a part of [the University] now ... it was nice having that feeling that you're doing this for USF now ... you have the support of the scho ol ... I think it made a huge impact." Favorite locations Having traveled a great deal and sailed at many locations, one of Ms. Griffin's favorite places to compete is in Charleston, where there are strong currents in the water. "I like going to Hawaii, I have to say that! ... I like going there because it's really challenging ... it's extremely windy." Although she liked many of the schools in the northern U.S., "I


4 did not like the weather. I am a warm weather girl!" She also always really enjoyed the cha llenge that Annapolis presented for her, partly because of the ever changing conditions. "I like pushing myself to the limit ... so I like places where I can do that." Advice for students new to sailing "Try it go out there and try it ... They're not go ing to make you do anything you're not comfortable [with] ... You may fall [into] the water occasionally, but ... there's no problem, we can pull you right back up ... Just do it go ahead and try it ... They're going to welcome anybody that wants to joi n ... The team will work with you ... it will become your family." End of Interview

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Griffin, Genoa.
Genoa Griffin
h [electronic resource] /
interviewed by Andrew Huse.
Tampa, Fla. :
University of South Florida Tampa Library,
1 sound file (60 min.) :
digital, MPEG4 file +
e 1 expanded summary (digital, PDF file)
USF 50th (2006) anniversary oral history project
Interview conducted May 28, 2004.
Genoa Griffin discusses coming to USF for the sailing team and the experiences she shared with her teammates. She also discusses her personal history in sailing.
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Streaming audio.
Griffin, Genoa.
2 610
University of South Florida.
7 655
Oral history.
Online audio.
Huse, Andrew T.
University of South Florida Libraries.
Florida Studies Center.
Oral History Program.
University of South Florida.
Tampa Library.
4 856