Tom was one of the earliest pioneers of country dancing. After many years of competing and learning to teach disco and swing, Tom turned to teaching country dancing in the southern California nightclubs. By 1985, Tom was teaching country and swing dancing to thousands of eager dancers all over California. In 1986, Tom helped to create the Western States Rules (the predecessor of the UCWDC Rules). He was a founding member of the UCWDC, and he was the event owner/director of two sanctioned UCWDC events. More than any other person, Tom Mattox was responsible for convincing UCWDC and other country circuit event directors to include west coast swing as one of the dances offered for competition.