Legendary Wichita State bowling coach Gordon Vadakin announces retirement

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Wichita State bowling coach Gordon Vadakin announced his retirement on Tuesday, his last last day with the program is June 13th, 2019.

Vadakin has been the head coach at WSU since 1978 and has put together an impressive resume:

  • 18 – National championship teams under his direction
  • 9 – National championship individuals
  • 369 – Tournament wins
  • 45% - Percentage of tournaments won
  • 25 – Bowlers of the Year and MVPs
  • 145 – NCBCA All-Americans
  • 239 – Academic All-Americans
  • 22 – Academic All-Americans in fall 2018
  • 59 – Professional titles won by players he’s coached
  • 96 – Number of national team members the program has produced under his direction

“It’s just time. I’m ready to spend time with my wife, Cindy, who has been retired for a few years now. My daughter Andrea and her husband Raja live in Seattle with our grandchildren, Ryan (2) and Elora (8 mos.). We want to go spend some extended time with them," said Vadakin in a statement. "My son Kenny married his best friend Cara in a beautiful ceremony last weekend and they will probably start a family here soon. I’m retiring for me, so I can spend time with my family.”

“I’ll miss watching kids come in and grow into young adults,” Vadakin said. “I’ve always believed that you have to coach the entire person, not just the athlete. Because of that, the coaching staff here gets very involved in their personal lives. I get to watch these student-athletes grow up and mature into adults, graduate with their degrees, and enter their careers. I’ll miss being a part of that, the most.”

Shocker alumni Rick Steelsmith has been hired as the next head bowling coach. Current assistant coach Mark Lewis has been promoted to director of the bowling program, and current marketing, development and operations coordinator Holly Harris has been promoted to the women's head bowling coach.