WSU's Vadakin Nominated to Wichita Sports Hall of Fame

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WSU bowling coach Gordon Vadakin was nominated for induction into the Wichita Sports Hall of Fame. The general public can now vote for the finalists, to be inducted in early summer. This is the charter class of inductees for the new hall of fame which opened in early Feb.

WSU Shocker bowling head coach Gordon Vadakin was nominated for induction into the first charter class at the Wichita Sports Hall of Fame.

The announcement came as a surprise to Vadakin, who was quick to applaud the bowling program's supporters.

"I had no idea it was going to happen," Vadakin said. "It's a big honor. However, it's really more about all of the organizations and people that have allowed this program to continue to prosper."

Vadakin expressed appreciation to Bill Smith, director of the Rhatigan Student Center; Roger Lowe, Vice President, Administration and Finance and university president Donald Beggs, among others.

"Those are the people that truly get the credit for something like this," Vadakin said. "If it wasn't for them, this would not have happened."    

The nomination process began Nov. 1, 2003 as the public had the opportunity to nominate an athlete or coach who has made an impact on athletics in Wichita. The 18 individuals or teams with the most nominations were placed on the final ballot. The general public can now vote for the finalists online at

Vadakin is nominated among 18 other Wichita sports figures including Barry Sanders, Gene Stephenson, Antoine Carr, Lynette Woodard and Roy Turner.

The top 14 finalists voted by the public will be joined by six individuals, chosen by a committee to be inducted as the first charter class in a ceremony to be held in early summer.

Voting will take place at and will run from Feb. 20 through May 21, 2004. The first class of inductees will be announced the last week of May, 2004.

The Wichita State University bowling program has achieved a combined 12 national championships. Both the men and women’s teams are consistently ranked top in the nation. Led by head coach Gordon Vadakin and assistant coach Mark Lewis, the bowling program has produced multiple professional players and attracts the top collegiate bowlers from across the country and overseas.

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