Vadakin steps aside as Team USA Assistant Coach after 11 years

    01/21/09

    Team USA News

    Republished courtesy of Wichita State University (Jan. 19, 2009)

    TeamUSACoachGordonVadakin.jpg Current Shocker Head Coach Gordon Vadakin is stepping aside as assistant coach on Team USA; a position he held for 11 years. Vadakin announced his decision January 7 and will not be part of the team in 2009.

    "The program is incredibly successful and it makes sense to bring new coaches into the program now so that they can continue to learn and move the program forward under Head Coach Jeri Edwards leadership", said Vadakin.

    "Representing your country, in any capacity – player or coach – is a tremendous honor. Once you have been a member of the Team USA family you always remain connected."

    Vadakin was an assistant coach on Team USA from 1990-1993 and from 2000-2008. As a member of Team USA in 1983 and 1989, Vadakin became close with then - Team USA head coach Fred Borden. In both 1990 and 2000, Borden invited Vadakin to become an assistant coach.

    During the 2000-2004 period, the Team USA coaching staff of Borden, Edwards, Vadakin, and Kenny Yokobosky started rebuilding the team. In 2004, Coach Borden retired, handing the head coaching reins over to assistant coach Jeri Edwards. Under Coach Edwards guidance, Team USA has rapidly grown to dominate tenpin bowling worldwide.

    In 2006, Vadakin was a part of this three coach staff that took Team USA to the gold medal at the Men's World Championships in Busan, South Korea. The gold medal was the first in the team event since 1971, a span of 35 years. Vadakin credits this accomplishment as the most memorable of his time at Team USA.

    "It just felt like there was an enormous weight lifted off of our shoulders," said Vadakin. "It was a really big deal."

    Vadakin was also a part of Team USA's most recent success in 2008 at the Men's World Championships in Bangkok, Thailand in which the team won an unprecedented five gold medals.

    "It has been a fun ride to see the teams rise to be one of the best worldwide," said Vadakin.

    Team USA has always had a strong connection with Wichita State as the Shockers currently have six members or alumni on Team USA and Junior Team USA and have had 35 in the history of the program.

    "I feel a strong connection with this program and I always will," said Vadakin. "I have learned a lot from coaches Borden, Edwards, and Yokobosky They are tremendous friends and three of the finest coaches in the world and it has been an honor to work with them."

    Team USA has not named a replacement for Vadakin.