Head Coaching Staff Profiles

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.

Read more about Gordon Vadakin
Read more about Mark Lewis

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.

Bowling Accomplishments

High game: 300 (27)
High series: 821 (12)

  • 1989 - Won Team Event and finished third in Individual All-Events in the ABC National Tournament; represented Team USA in the American Zone Championships; two medals; Bowler's Journal "Amateur Bowler of the Year"
  • 1988 - Won Team All-Events in the ABC National Tournament (with Chilton Vending Team); Qualified through State and Regional Team USA to gain National Team USA finals; Team USA member - Fifth position.
  • 1984 - Fifth place finish in the International Amateur Championships in Las Vegas (World's top 60 bowlers competed in conjunction with 1984 Summer Olympics).
  • 1983 - Third place finish in All-Events in the ABC National Tournament; fourth place finish in the United States Team Trials; Team USA member; Second place finish in the World Championships in Caracas, Venezuela.

Coaching Accomplishments
  • First coach to lead a men’s and women’s team to an intercollegiate national championship title.
  • Coached 17 of WSU's 19 national championship titles: Women - 1978, 1986, 1990, 1994, 2005, 2007 and 2009; Men - 1980, 1987, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1998, 2003, 2008, 2009 and 2010.
  • In November of 1983, he taught bowling at four Saudi Arabian Air Force Bases and on the Island of Bahrain in the Persian Gulf.
  • Was coach in 1988 and 1991 for a United States team of young men and women competing at the World Youth Championships in Manila, Philippines.
  • Completed a "Learn to Bowl" videotape for youth with ESPN. The video, "Teaching Kids Bowling," began distribution in October 1988.
  • Attended USA Bowling's National Coaches Conference Olympic Training Center in May 1993 in Colorado Springs, Colo.
  • Coached and traveled with Team USA in the years ranging from 1990-1993 and 2000-2009.
  • First Gold-level coach in collegiate bowling.
  • Member of Wichita, Kansas Bowling, Wichita Sports, and USBC National Halls of Fame.


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.

Bowling Accomplishments

High game: 300 (8)
High series: 822 (8)

  • 2006 - Inducted into the Wichita Sports Hall of Fame (other Hall of Fame members include; Barry Sanders, Miler-Jim Ryun, Lynette Woodard, & Gordon Vadakin).
  • 2004 - Inducted into the American Bowling Congress National Hall of Fame, the third oldest Hall of Fame behind Golf & Baseball.
  • 2001 - Won Team All-Events in the ABC National Tournament (with Team USA Support #2 team) (4th ABC Title).
  • 1989 - Won Team event in the ABC National Tournament (with Chilton Vending team) (3rd ABC Title); Team USA member in the American Zone Championships; Silver Medal (Team); Gold Medal (Trios); Bronze Medal - Team USA National Championships to make Team USA for 2nd consecutive year; elected into Kansas Men’s Bowling Hall of Fame.
  • 1988 - Won Team USA roll-off to earn spot into Olympic Bowl-Down; Silver Medal - Olympic Bowl-Down to earn only USA spot in Olympic Games; 6th place in the Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea; 6th place in the AMF World Cup in Guadalajara,  Mexico; Won Doubles and Team All-Events  in the ABC National Tournament (with Chilton Vending team, and Mark Jensen) (1st & 2nd ABC Title); National Amateur Champion to make 1988 Team USA; elected  into Wichita Men’s Bowling Hall of Fame.
  • 1980 - Won Intercollegiate Bowling Championships - Milwaukee (Wichita State University)
  • Member of Wichita, State of Kansas, Wichita Sports, and USBC National Halls of Fame.

  • First coach to lead United Arab Emirate team to Gulf Cooperative Council Overall Championship, 1995, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirate.
  • First coach to lead United Arab Emirate team to 1995 World Championship medal, Bronze Medal – Men’s All-Events.
  • Assisted Gordon Vadakin with ESPN's "Learn to bowl" videotape for youth bowlers.
  • The video, "Teaching Kids Bowling," began distribution in October 1988.
  • Head coaching staff member for Brunswick Shocker Bowling Camps since 1998.
  • Directly involved in coaching eight of 19 WSU’s National Championship teams: Women- 2005, 2007, and 2009; Men-1993, 2003, 2008, 2009 and 2010.