An important factor in the rise of the WSU bowling program to the highest competitive level has been the quality of its coaching staff. In the early 1970s, Paul Waliczek produced the guiding hand which enabled both the men’s and women’s teams to achieve tournament and conference success never before attained with such regularity. At the end of Waliczek's tenure in 1976, assistant coaches Gordon Vadakin and Vicki Schmit assumed the reins of the program. Schmit skillfully led the Shocker women to their second national championship in 1977 in San Antonio, Texas; after which, she left to pursue other non-coaching opportunities. Vadakin has remained with the Shocker Bowling Program since 1977 and currently works alongside Assistant Coach Mark Lewis who joined the staff in 1999. These coaches work as a team, as they are involved with all decision making facets of the program.
GORDON VADAKIN has been the head coach of the Shocker Bowling Program since 1977. Throughout the last 34 years, Vadakin has gained experience both as a competitor and as a coach. In 1983, he placed third in All-Events in the ABC National Tournament and was inducted into the Wichita Men's Bowling Hall of Fame. As a Team USA member, he bowled in the 1983 FIQ World Tournament in Caracas, Venezuela.
In 1989, Vadakin earned a spot on Team USA for a second time and gained further international experience in the American Zone Championships where national teams from 17 countries were in attendance. He won the 24-game Individual All-Events Gold Medal, setting a new all-time record. Vadakin was inducted into the Kansas Men's Hall of Fame in 1989 and was further honored by being selected the 1989 Bowler's Journal "Amateur Bowler of the Year."
In 1988 and 1991, he traveled to the Philippines and coached the United States Youth Team at the World Youth Championships. Vadakin was a member of Team USA's coaching staff from 1990-1993 and 2000-2009. He has traveled to Singapore, China, Malaysia, Thailand and Colombia to successfully coach both adult and youth Team USA members in the World Championships, the World Cup, and the FIQ American Zone Championships.
In 1988, he completed a "Learn-to-Bowl" videotape with ESPN for youth bowlers.
Vadakin is a USBC Gold-level certified coach. In each year of Vadakin's coaching career at Wichita State University (WSU), one or both of the WSU men’s and women’s teams have advanced to the Intercollegiate Team Championships. Vadakin has coached 17 of WSU's 19 national championship titles.
High game: 300 (27)
High series: 821 (12)
MARK LEWIS has been involved with the WSU program for over two decades and has had a brilliant amateur career. Lewis was part of the first Men’s National Collegiate Championship in 1980, in Milwaukee.
In 1988, Lewis earned a spot on Team USA when he won the title of National Amateur Champion during the Team USA National Championships. He also won two ABC National Tournament titles that same year.
After a series of national and international elimination competitions Lewis earned his greatest accomplishment; to be the only male bowler to represent the United States in the sport of bowling in the Summer Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea. This is the only time bowling has ever been included in the Olympic Games. As part of promotional efforts leading up to the 1988 Olympic Games, Lewis made numerous television appearances those of which include: NBC Superstars, Hollywood Squares, and MDA National Telethon.
Lewis was a member of Bowler's Journal and Bowling Magazine’s amateur All-American Teams. He was also selected as Bowling Digest’s Amateur Bowler of the Year in 1988. Lewis was also one of the first amateur bowlers ever to be selected to Bowling Magazine’s All-American Teams (Amateur & Professional). He was selected to the Second Team in 1988.
In 1989, Lewis nearly defended his title as National Amateur Champion making the stepladder finals, falling short to finish third, but making Team USA for the second year in a row.
Lewis is a Silver-level Coach and Bronze-level Instructor in USA Bowling’s Coaching Certification Program.
As the head coach of the national bowling teams for the United Arab Emirates in the Persian Gulf, Lewis lead the team to their first World Championships medal in Reno, Nev., in 1993.
Lewis was a Wichita State Associate Coach and Head Coaching staff member from 1985-1997. He was instrumental in WSU men’s team’s National Championship in Indianapolis in 1993.
High game: 300 (8)
High series: 822 (8)