May 29, 2012
Wichita State University’s Head Coach Gordon Vadakin has been selected as the 2012 Bowling Coaches Hall of Fame inductee. Only one active coach is inducted per year. Vadakin has led the Shockers to 17 of their 19 national championships.
The Bowling Coaches Hall of Fame is in its fifth year of honoring bowling’s finest coaches. Vadakin will join previous inductees Dick Ritger, Tom Kouros, John Jowdy and Fred Borden in the hall of fame.
Vadakin credited Borden heavily, saying, “He has inspired countless coaches all over the world; not just with his skill and knowledge, but with his love of the game. He deeply hooked our coaching staff, and I would like to believe we possess and communicate that same passion and love to our athletes.”
Vadakin has coached some of today’s most successful professional bowlers, including: Sean Rash, Chris Barnes, Rick Steelsmith, Nathan Bohr, Pat Healy, Lonnie Waliczek and this year’s PBA Rookie of the Year, Josh Blanchard.
“Gordon has had an impact on thousands of young people who have come through the Wichita State program,” said Shocker Bowling’s Assistant Coach Mark Lewis. “He has been able to build something special with a level of success that is unmatched in the sport of bowling.”
Not only has he helped bowlers during their paths to successful careers, but he has established his own distinguished bowling career.
Vadakin was a two-time member on Team USA, a gold medalist at the 1989 FIQ American Zone Tournament and he was named Bowlers Journal’s Amateur of the Year in 1989. He has also won two titles in the ABC (USBC National Open) Championships.
He has attained an astounding 29 perfect games and 12 three-game series of 800. His résumé of bowling accomplishments is endless, consisting of more achievements than most people will see in their lifetime.
In addition to his prosperous bowling career, Vadakin has a long history of success as a coach. He began coaching the WSU Shockers in 1977 and was the first certified Gold level bowling coach in college bowling. There are currently 16 USBC certified Gold level coaches worldwide.
Vadakin is also the only coach in history to have led a college team to three consecutive national championship titles. He accomplished this feat twice; once in 1993, 1994 and 1995 and again in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
Not only has he led the Shockers to success, but he helped lead Team USA to multiple gold, silver and bronze medals in international tournaments. Most notably, Vadakin helped lead Team USA to four gold medals in both 1988 and 1990 at the FIQ World Youth Championships.
In addition to his induction in the Bowling Coaches Hall of Fame, Vadakin is also a member of the Wichita Sports, Kansas Men’s, National Coaches and the United States Bowling Congress Halls of Fame.