Vadakin and Marchione elected to USBC Hall of Fame


    USBC News

    Amateur standout and coach, bowling pioneer to be inducted at USBC Convention

    2007PITGordonVadakin.jpgAmateur standout and coach Gordon Vadakin (pictured), and Connie Marchione, a pioneer in expanding bowling opportunities for the deaf, have been elected to the United States Bowling Congress Hall of Fame.

    Vadakin, of Wichita, Kan., and Marchione, of Panorama City, Calif., will be inducted during ceremonies March 30 at the 2007 USBC Convention in Nashville, Tenn., along with any elected from the national ballot which will be mailed to selected writers and officials.

    Vadakin, a two-time member of Team USA (1983 and 1989), also is a two-time USBC Open Championships titlist and Federation Internationale des Quilleurs American Zone Championship gold medalist.

    The 53-year-old Vadakin, who also is a heralded bowling coach for Wichita State University, assistant coach for Team USA and a USBC-certified Gold coach, was a member of the 1989 American Bowling Congress Championships Tournament (now USBC Open Championships) team champion and 1988 team all-events champion. He also earned six other top-10 finishes and has held a 206 average for 30 years.

    In international competition, Vadakin won his gold medal in all-events at the 1989 FIQ American Zone Championships while also earning a silver medal in five-player team and doubles.

    At the 1989 Tournament of the Americas, Vadakin also earned gold medals in singles, mixed doubles, mixed foursome, all-events and national all-events.

    As a tournament and league organizer, Marchione's efforts in creating bowling opportunities for the deaf started in Southern California, where he formed an all-deaf traveling league in 1960 that is still in existence today. The following year he formed the Pacific Coast Deaf Masters.

    The 83-year-old Marchione served as tournament director or an advisor for many other events including the Pacific Coast Deaf Singles Championships, World Deaf Bowling Association Championships, International Deaf Invitational Championships, PCDBA Senior Masters and National Deaf Masters. He also served as tournament director for Deaf Team USA qualifiers and organized coaching clinics for the United States Deaf Bowling Federation.

    As a bowling writer, Marchione started the PCDBA newsletter in 1962 to publicize the achievement of deaf bowlers. He was co-creator of the Deaf Bowler, the NDBA's official publication. He also contributed columns to other California bowling publications.

    In the mid-1960s, Marchione created the PCDBA All-Star team, Bowler of the Year and hall of fame to honor its leaders and bowlers. He became the first chairman of the NDBA Hall of Fame in 1986.

    In other action by the USBC Hall of Fame Committee, Shirley Levens, Titusville Fla.; Debra McMullen, Denver, Colo.; Karen Ellingsworth, Des Plaines, Ill.; and Cheryl Robinson were included on the women's national ballot, while the men's national ballot will include Tom Baker, King, N.C.; Del Ballard Jr., North Richland Hills, Texas; Jeff Richgels, Oregon, Wis.; Gene Stus, Taylor, Mich.; and Rick Steelsmith, Wichita, Kan.