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  • Gordon Vadakin Retiring

    https://www.wichita.edu/athletics/bowling/GV_Retire.php

    Mark Lewis will take over as Director of Bowling Program. Rick Steelsmith will be head coach of men's team. Holly Harris will be head coach of women's team.

    Obviously, bowling doesn't get the notoriety of the NCAA sports on campus, but relatively speaking, one could make the argument that Gordon was on same level of legendary status as Gene and Gregg were/are as the leader of his respective program.

    78-65

  • #2
    Originally posted by WuShock16 View Post
    https://www.wichita.edu/athletics/bowling/GV_Retire.php

    Mark Lewis will take over as Director of Bowling Program. Rick Steelsmith will be head coach of men's team. Holly Harris will be head coach of women's team.

    Obviously, bowling doesn't get the notoriety of the NCAA sports on campus, but relatively speaking, one could make the argument that Gordon was on same level of legendary status as Gene and Gregg were/are as the leader of his respective program.
    Gordon has done a tremendous job but IMO doesn't belong in the same class as Gene and Greg in that doing what Gene did and Gregg is doing seems to me to have involved a much more challenging environment to achieve success. It's not like he has been duking it out with a bunch of superiorly funded, established P-5 conference teams. That said Gordon probably is worthy of being in the Shocker Sports Hall of Fame although I don't know if he would be considered or not but I would point out that WSU bowling has had some outstanding bowlers and none are in the Shocker Hall of Fame as far as I know. Gordon is in the Wichita Men's Bowling Hall of Fame. Interesting topic though. Perhaps a good question for Mike Kennedy or Paul Suellentrop.

    Comment


  • #3
    Coach Vadakin's numbers are pretty amazing. After a 41-year career at Wichita State I would think the university would do something to honor him. Perhaps name the bowling lanes in the RSC the Gordon Vadakin Bowling Center or something like that.

    Comment


    • WSUwatcher
      WSUwatcher commented
      Editing a comment
      At least that, 1972.

      I'd agree that Vadakin's accomplishments as the GOAT collegiate bowling coach -- not just at WSU, but anywhere -- are hard to compare with what Gene and 3G did, simply because of the level of competition the latter two have had to overcome. Still, when you consider 18 (18!) national championships under his direction, how can you not be absolutely awestruck at what he achieved?

      Actually, Vadakin is a Hall of Famer already, and not just locally. If you look at the members of the US Bowling Congress Hall of Fame, here's his entry: "While Vadakin is eminently qualified for his coaching contributions at Wichita State University and with Team USA, he was inducted for his skills on the lanes as an amateur bowler. The 1983 Team USA member earned an FIQ World Championships team silver medal and returned to Team USA in 1989 when he won titles in both the USBC Open Championships and FIQ American Zone Championships."

      Think about that for a minute. The best collegiate bowling coach ever was inducted into the USBC Hall of Fame not a coach, but as a PLAYER. He had already established himself as a Hall of Famer before ever achieving most of what he ultimately did as a coach, even though that ended up being actually more impressive than what he'd done on the lanes.

      How great is that? It's like having Whitey Herzog in Cooperstown for his performance on the field before he earned his way in as a manager (and by the way, Whitey wouldn't even have been close, fellow Cardinals fans -- you can look him up.) By contrast, Vadakin would have been in the bowling Hall if he had never coached a day; and that's just mind-boggling.

      A thousand kudos, Coach Vadakin.

    • ShockTalk
      ShockTalk commented
      Editing a comment
      Comment about Whitey. He was quoted something like " Baseball has been good to me once I quit trying to play it". He started his short playing career with the Senators and the KC Athletics. 'Nuff said.
      Not sure how the NCAA bowling teams compare to the non-NCAA teams today, but for much of Gordon's career as a coach, they didn't exist. Isn't the NCAA bowling women only?

    • 1972Shocker
      1972Shocker commented
      Editing a comment
      ShockTalk I believe that your are correct regarding the NCAA only sponsoring a women's bowling championship. With D-I, D-II and D-III schools all competing in the same tournament. In 2018 there were 34 D-1 schools, 30 D-II schools and 16 D-III schools with NCAA programs.

      I suspect the main reason for only havging a women's championship is due to Title IX reasons.

      I think there are about 200 colleges that participate in the USBC Collegiate Bowling. Not sure what the breakdown of that is.

      In Kansas the following schools have teams that participate in the USBC Collegiate program:

      Wichita State - Men and Women
      Baker University - Men and Women
      Cowley Community College - Men and Women
      Kansas State - Men and Women
      Kansas Weslyan - Men and Women
      Newman University - Men and Women
      Ottawa University - Men and Women

      The final 8 teams in this year's USBC Men's Championship were: Wisconsin-Whitewater, McKendree, Webber Intl, St. Ambrose, Calument, Lawrence Tech, Rochester Tech and Notre Dame-Ohio. Webber Intl beat Lawrence Tech for the title. I think the Shocks were the top seed coming out of the 16 teams coming out of the qualifying rounds but were eliminated with losses to Grand Canyon and William Penn.

      The final 8 tems in this year's USBC Women's Championship were: McKendree University, Stephen F. Austin, Delaware State. Pikeville, Lindenwood, Robert Morris, Duquesne and Wichita State. The Shocks lost to William Penn in the 1st round and were eliminated in the Elite 8 by Duquesne. Robert Morris defeated McKendree for the title.

      The NCAA is a 16-team double elimination tournament. Vanderbilt best Nebraska and Stephen F. Austin beat Maryland-Eastern Shore in the semi-finals with SFA beating Vanderbilt for the title.

      Interestingly McKendree and Stephen F. Austin womem participated in both the USBC Championships and the NCAA Championship this year. Not sure how that works.

      I really don't know but my guess is the level of competition between USBC and the NCAA is pretty similar.

  • #4
    I just had to know more, so yes, I spent more time than I should on this. It appears a lot of the NCAA women's teams are listed in the USBC as well.

    Just looked at the top 30 ranked NCAA teams against the USBC listing by state. Of the 8 teams in the NCAA tourney McKendree, SFA, UMES, and Sacred Heart are also listed as USBC schools. The #7 team in the NCAA , NC A&T, did not make the tourney and #23 ranked Sacred Heart did. NC A&T is also listed USBC team.

    9 of the top 20 NCAA teams are USBC as well. However, of #21-30, 9 of those 10 are USBC. I stopped there as it is starting to appear that most of the NCAA teams are also USBC.

    Comment


    • 1972Shocker
      1972Shocker commented
      Editing a comment
      That pretty much supports the supposition that the level of competition is similar.

    • ShockTalk
      ShockTalk commented
      Editing a comment
      In more ways than one.

  • #5
    The USBC allows players who compete for schools in its world to play for money as well (e.g., in regional pro tournaments), and many of the Shocker bowlers do -- the competition sharpens them, and what money they win comes in handy. In the NCAA, however, that would be an amateurism violation, so schools who compete in both have to impose the stricter NCAA rules on their athletes.

    Comment


    • #6
      Gordon is a first ballot Hall of Famer at WSU. Count me in on the camp that thinks Women's bowling should be an NCAA sport at Wichita State. We have one NCAA national championship in our history (K-State is one of a few in the P6 that has zero) and I wouldn't mind piling up a few more. It was my understanding that Gordon did not want to elevate the program to NCAA status because of the change of recruiting tactics and the headache. Hopefully, with the way things are being set up now with a mens coach, womans coach, and overall head coach it is a sign that we are going to make the change.

      Comment

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