Bowling coach inducted into Hall of Fame

by Staff Reporter

Wichita State University bowling coach Gordon Vadakin started his summer off by being selected as one of the members of the 2012 Bowling Coaches Hall of Fame.

“It’s an honor to be selected, but more than anything to me it’s a reflection of how we do business here in the RSC,” Vadakin said of being the only active coach elected to the Hall of Fame in 2012. 

This is the fifth year that the Bowling Coaches Hall of Fame has honored the best active coaches in the sport. The Hall of Fame annually recognizes any number of inactive coaches, but only one active coach a year.

“A committee with the Bowling Writers Association of America that makes these choices,” Vadakin said about the selection process. “Since it’s a new award there have been a lot of great coaches who have passed, so there are a lot of posthumous awards that are for legendary coaches who have come and gone.”

Before becoming a bowling coach Vadakin starred as a bowler himself. He was a two-time member of Team USA and was a gold medalist at the 1989 FIQ American Zone Tournament. Vadakin was also named Bowlers Journal’s Amateur of the Year in 1989. 

Vadakin has 29 perfect games to his name and has been a two-time champion in the ABC Championships.

In addition to an accomplished playing career Vadakin has also excelled in a coaching career that few have been able to match. Vadakin began coaching the Shockers in 1977 and was the first certified gold level bowling coach in college bowling. He was one of 16 USBC certified gold level coaches in the world.

Vadakin is the only coach in history to lead a college team to three consecutive national championship titles. The Shockers were able to accomplish this feat twice; once in 1993, 1994 and 1995, and again in 2008, 2009, 2010.

In addition to his college coaching career Vadakin has helped lead Team USA to multiple gold, silver and bronze medals in international tournaments. In both 1988 and 1990 Vadakin helped lead Team USA to four gold medals at the FIQ World Youth Championships.

In addition to being inducted 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.

When we have awards for the bowling team I think all of us in this building take a little bit of credit for that. We operate as a team with our bowling team and in the Rhatigan Center we also operate as a team,” Vadakin said about the news of receiving the award. “Whenever something happens to an individual here its not just the individual it’s a lot of people who helped contribute to that.”

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