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. He has gained unforgettable memories and experiences as a competitor and coach throughout the last 40 years. 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.
Again in 1989, Vadakin earned a spot on Team USA and gained further international experience in the American Zone Championship, 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. Gordon 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 a team at the World Youth Championships. Gordon also completed a second four-year tenure as one of the coaches of Team USA. He has traveled to Singapore, China, Malaysia, Korea 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 for youth with ESPN, and is a certified Gold-Level Coach in USA Bowling's Coaching Certification Program.
In each and every one of Vadakin's years as head coach at WSU, one or both of the WSU men’s and women’s teams have advanced to the National Championships.
High game: 300 (29)
High series: 821 (12)
MARK LEWIS has been involved with the WSU program for nearly two decades; Mark has had a brilliant amateur career. It started when he played a major part in the first men’s National Collegiate Championship in 1980, in Milwaukee.
In 1988, Mark earned a spot on Team USA when he won the Team USA National Championships, earning the title of the 1988 National Amateur Champion. He also won two ABC National Tournament titles that same year.
After a series of elimination competitions Lewis earned his greatest accomplishment, by winning the right to be the only male bowler to represent the United States in the sport of bowling in the Summer Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea, the only time bowling has ever been included in an Olympic Games.
Mark was a member of Bowlers Journal and Bowling Magazine’s amateur All-American Teams while being 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 Mark nearly defended his title as National Amateur Champion when he made the stepladder finals and finished 3rd, making Team USA for the second year in a row.
He is a Silver Level Coach and Bronze Level Instructor in USA Bowling’s Coaching Certification Program.
From 1995-97 Lewis was the head coach of the National Bowling Teams for the United Arab Emirates in the Persian Gulf. He lead the UAE Team to their first ever FIQ World Championship medal in Reno, Nevada, in 1995.
Mark 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. As part of promotional efforts leading up to the 1988 Olympic Games Mark made numerous promotional appearances including NBC Superstars, Hollywood Squares, MDA National Telethon and others.
High game: 300 (8)
High series: 822 (8)