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Striking investment: Bowling team provides WSU stream of revenue

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Wichita State literally bowls for bucks.

Nearly $7 million, to be exact.

Head Coach Gordon Vadakin said the bowling program continues to generate steady revenue for Wichita State, according to a recent report.

The Economic Impact Report showed revenue of $6.74 million from 2014-15 season, which resulted in a national championship for the men’s team.

The report showed a $200,000 increase from the previous year.

 “[The report] has stabilized in recent years, but if we went back any further we would see even better improvement for Wichita State and the city of Wichita,” Vadakin said.

Vadakin said the reason for the report was to show the dollar amount the program has contributed to WSU. The reputation for the WSU bowling program has long been of financial value to the university, he said.

“The report shows how unique we are,” Vadakin said. “This season alone we have brought in student athletes from more [than] 10 countries.”

Vadakin said from an international perspective, the program at WSU is viewed as an elite training center.

“If you are looking to improve your bowling game, get a college degree, or if you are looking to represent your country’s national team or the U.S. team, you have to look here,” he said. “This is the place where the best players come out of.”

There’s been no shortage of exposure for the program, which won its 20th program title this past season. The men’s team has been rated the No. 1 program for 42 seasons, and the women’s team has stayed in the top 10 for the past 37 consecutive seasons.

“The history of the program is real good, but we never stop working at it,” Vadakin said.

Vadakin said the hard work that goes into training the players and the newly renovated facility in the Rhatigan Student Center complement each other. He said he is ready for the season to start and to challenge his new players and returning champions.

The thrill, he said, is to have players who are willing to learn.

 “You ask what makes us successful and we’ve been innovative,” he said. “We’ve challenged ourselves to stay on the cutting edge of training and technology. We’re evolving as a program.”

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