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Wichita State University Bowling Team: A Legacy of Success

The Wichita State University bowling team has a long and storied history. The team was founded in 1959 by Gordon Vadakin, who coached the team for over 35 years until his retirement in 1997. Under Vadakin's guidance, the team became one of the most successful college bowling programs in the country, winning numerous national championships and producing many professional bowlers.

One of the reasons for the team's success is the university's strong commitment to bowling. Wichita State has one of the most comprehensive bowling programs in the country, with a state-of-the-art bowling facility, a dedicated coaching staff, and a competitive schedule that includes some of the best college teams in the nation.

Over the years, many great PBA bowlers have come out of Wichita State. One of the most well known is Pete Weber, who is widely considered to be one of the greatest bowlers of all time. Weber won his first PBA title in 1982, while still being a student at Wichita State, and went on to win a total of 37 PBA titles, including 10 major championships. Weber is also known for his colorful personality and his signature celebration move, the "crotch chop."

Image of person bowling in a bowling alley

Another notable Wichita State alum is Chris Barnes, who has won 19 PBA tour titles, including four major championships. Barnes was a member of the Wichita State team in the 1990s and helped lead the team to several national championships. He was also named the Collegiate Bowler of the Year twice during his time at Wichita State.

Other notable PBA bowlers who attended Wichita State include Tommy Jones, who has won 20 PBA titles, and Sean Rash, who has won 15 PBA titles, including two major championships. Both Jones and Rash were members of the Wichita State team that won the national championship in 2003.

Bowling ball and bowling pins

The success of the Wichita State bowling program has also had a positive impact on the sport of bowling as a whole. Many of the top high school bowlers in the country aspire to attend Wichita State and be part of its winning tradition. And the program's emphasis on coaching and technique has helped to raise the overall level of play in the sport.

In conclusion, the Wichita State University bowling team has a rich history of success and has produced some of the greatest PBA bowlers of all time. Its commitment to the sport of bowling has helped to elevate the game and inspire a new generation of bowlers to aim for greatness.


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