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Wichita State's year is one for the scrapbooks

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Saturday, June 29, 2013, at 4:28 p.m.
  • Updated Thursday, March 20, 2014, at 6:22 p.m.

The Shockers’ standout 2012-13

•  Volleyball defeated Arkansas and Kansas on the way to its first Sweet 16.

•  Women’s basketball shared the MVC title and won the conference tournament, both firsts, and played in its first NCAA Tournament.

•  Men’s basketball advanced to the Final Four, beating top-ranked Gonzaga along the way, before losing to Louisville in the national semifinal.

•  Distance runner Aliphine Tuliamuk-Bolton finished second in the 10,000 and fourth in the 5,000 at the NCAA outdoor meet. At the indoor meet, she finished third in the 5,000 and sixth in the 3,000. In November, she placed fourth at the NCAA cross country meet.

•  Women’s track and field finished 16th at the NCAA outdoor meet and 24th at the indoor meet, both best in school history.

•  Men’s golf won its sixth straight MVC title and played in an NCAA regional.

•  Men’s and women’s tennis teams played in NCAA regionals.

•  Baseball won the MVC Tournament to return to an NCAA regional for the first time since 2009.

•  WSU won the MVC’s All-Sports Trophy for the seventh time in the past 10 years, compiling a record aggregate finish of 2.3 for its 15 sports.

Memorable moment: Coaches and players cutting down the nets after defeating Ohio State in Los Angeles to advance to the Final Four.

Hall of Fame future: Tuliamuk-Bolton ends her career with 13 All-America honors and five school records.

Other big Shocker years


•  WSU won seven outright MVC titles, most by any school since the conference added women’s sports in 1993.

•  Women’s cross country won its first MVC title since 1999 with Desiraye Osburn winning the conference meet. She won the Midwest Regional and finished 26th at the NCAA meet to become the first Shocker woman to earn All-American honors.

•  Volleyball won the MVC title with an 18-0 record and finished 28-3 after the NCAA selection committee denied the Shockers an at-large bid.

•  Men’s basketball won its first MVC title since 1983 and advanced to the Sweet 16, its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1988.

•  Men’s golf returned to an NCAA regional after a one-year absence.

•  Women’s tennis made its first NCAA appearance after winning its first MVC title since 1998.

•  Women’s track won the MVC indoor and outdoor titles.

•  Baseball played in an NCAA regional championship game.

Memorable moment: P.J Couisnard points to his father in the stands after a crucial basket late in the final minutes of an NCAA Tournament win over Tennessee.

Hall of Fame future: Volleyball player Sara Lungren earns second-team All-MVC honors, a prelude to MVC Player of the Year selection in 2006 and 2007.


•  Men’s basketball played in the NIT, defeating Cal-Santa Barbara before losing at Michigan State.

•  A 5-3 win over Texas gave Wichita State the College World Series title, its lone NCAA team championship.

•  Softball won the Gateway Tournament and made its first NCAA regional appearance.

Memorable moment: Pitcher Greg Brummett leaps into the arms of catcher Eric Wedge after recording the final out of the College World Series.

Hall of Fame future: Wedge hit .380 with 23 home runs and 99 RBIs and Boston picked him in third round of the 1989 draft.


•  The Shockers claimed five MVC titles to win the All-Sports Trophy.

•  Men’s basketball earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.

•  Baseball returned to the College World Series, finishing in a tie for third.

•  WSU swept the MVC/Gateway titles in tennis and cross country.

Memorable moment: WSU defeats No. 1 Oklahoma State 15-5 in the Midwest Regional title game in Stillwater to clinch the trip to Omaha.

Hall of Fame future: Second baseman Mark Standiford hit 28 home runs in 1988, most in program history.


•  WSU won its fifth straight MVC All-Sports Trophy.

•  Men’s basketball went 23-6 and finished second in the MVC while under postseason sanctions.

•  Baseball made its first College World Series appearance and finished second after losing to Miami.

•  Men’s tennis qualified for the NCAAs.

Memorable moment: Pitcher Bryan Oelkers shuts outs Cal State Fullerton 7-0 for WSU’s first College World Series win.

Hall of Fame future: Antoine Carr joins Cliff Levingston on the All-MVC basketball team after Carr leads the conference in blocked shots and Levingston in rebounds.


•  Men’s basketball won its first MVC title since 1976 and advanced to the Elite Eight with wins over Southern, Iowa and Kansas.

•  Women’s basketball went 20-11, its first 20-win season, and defeated Kansas State to win the Kansas Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women title.

•  Baseball won its first NCAA regional game, defeating Clemson.

•  Men’s tennis won its fourth straight Valley title.

Memorable moment: Mike Jones makes two long jumpers in the final 47 seconds to help the Shockers beat Kansas 66-65 in New Orleans to advance to the Elite Eight.

Hall of Fame future: Outfielder Joe Carter earns national Player of the Year honors after hitting .430 for his career with 58 home runs and a .788 slugging percentage.


•  WSU won its first MVC All-Sports Trophy by winning titles in three of its eight sports.

•  Football went 7-2 and tied Cincinnati for the MVC title.

•  Men’s basketball won its first MVC title and played in its first NCAA Tournament.

•  Men’s golf finished 33rd in the NCAA Championships.

•  Men’s tennis won the MVC title.

Memorable moment: Dave Stallworth scores 21 points and around 10,000 Shocker fans pack Allen Fieldhouse for a 58-50 win over Drake in an MVC playoff game for the spot in the NCAA Tournament.

Hall of Fame future: Quarterback Hank Schichtle earns All-MVC honors after completing 90 of 158 passes for 1,409 yards. The New York Giants select him in the sixth round of the 1964 NFL Draft.


•  Football won the MVC title before losing to Villanova in the Sun Bowl to finish 8-3

•  Men’s basketball returned to the NIT for the first time since 1954, losing to Dayton.

•  Men’s cross country won its second straight MVC title.

Memorable moment: Center Gene Wiley scores 12 points, grabs 13 rebounds and blocks 15 shots in a 71-68 win at No. 7 Purdue.

Hall of Fame future: Stallworth joins the team for the second semester and begins his career by averaging 19.8 points and 9.4 rebounds in eight games.

— Paul Suellentrop

Nine months of unprecedented success keeps Scott Talbott busy updating the Shocker shrine in his basement.

He needs to finish the collages for the volleyball and basketball seasons. He framed newspaper pages documenting the Final Four. His ticket stubs are on display, in addition to an assortment of basketballs, a volleyball, Shocker towels, pom poms and foam fingers. His walls get busier with each season.

“It’s expanded five-fold,” Talbott said. “Every time you turned around, there was something new to put up there. This was the perfect year.”

Wichita State’s 2012-13 school year gave perfection a good run with a series of landmarks and highlights that put the Shockers atop the Missouri Valley Conference and in the national spotlight.

The volleyball team started the fun with its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16. The women’s basketball team won its first Missouri Valley Conference title and played in its first NCAA Tournament. Then came the men’s team unforgettable run to the Final Four, its first appearance in the national semifinal since 1965. Distance runner Aliphine Tuliamuk-Bolton spread her excellence throughout the year, running in the NCAA cross country, indoor and outdoor meets, finishing in the top six in five races.

WSU won the MVC All-Sports Trophy with a record score after its teams finished in top three in 14 of 15 sports.

The history-making year also included the firing of baseball coach Gene Stephenson after 36 seasons and a 28th NCAA appearance. Earlier this month, WSU hired Arkansas assistant Todd Butler and charged him with the task of making the Shockers nationally relevant again.

WSU’s fiercest MVC rival, Creighton, departed for the Big East and Loyola, a frequent men’s basketball opponent in the 1960s and 1970s, joined the conference.

Whew. Shocker athletics will never look the same.

Coach Chris Lamb’s volleyball team proved it could break through the first weekend of the NCAAs. Coach Jody Adams proved women’s basketball can win big. The Shockers made the cover of Sports Illustrated and educated a nation of college basketball fans on how to “Play Angry” to the booming sound of the “Shocker War Chant.”

Radio broadcaster and Shocker historian Mike Kennedy looks at the all-around success and agrees that 2012-13 is likely the best at WSU.

“You’d have to dig awfully hard to find that kind of all-around success, especially with the Final Four,” he said.

Ricky Lamb estimates the Shockers cost him around $5,000 with their men’s basketball success. He traveled to St. Louis for the MVC Tournament, Los Angeles for the NCAA Tournament and Atlanta for the Final Four.

“That’s what credit cards are for,” he said. “I always leave my spring open for March Madness.”

Lamb bought four of the thousands of T-shirts sold as wins over Pittsburgh, Gonzaga, La Salle and Ohio State captivated the city. Casual fans jumped on board with the Shockers in March and he enjoys seeing the increase in black-and-yellow gear around the city.

“People are showing more pride,” he said. “I was just on the golf course and an acquaintance of mine was already talking about recruits and next season. Most of the time you don’t see casual fans caring about that.”

Eddy Brotemarkle refused to buy a T-shirt. He didn’t buy one to start the tournament and didn’t want to jinx the team in the following rounds.

“It’s great going around the city and seeing everybody in their Shocker shirts,” he said. “It’s great to see everybody finally rallying around the Shockers.”

Talbott took his family to Atlanta. As a dedicated volleyball fan, however, he ranks wins in Lawrence over Arkansas and Kansas as equally rewarding. Watching the Shockers and their parents celebrate in Allen Fieldhouse thrilled him.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to get to know the (volleyball) coaches and the student-athletes,” he said. “Seeing the joy on (parents’) faces — it was a special moment in Lawrence.”

Talbott hopes the buzz about the Shockers continues when things get going again.

“People that are casual fans, those people will stand up a little taller and feel better,” he said. “I think maybe (WSU has) gotten over the top a little bit and has a real opportunity to expand the base and get some more people on board.”

Reach Paul Suellentrop at 316-269-6760 or psuellentrop@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @paulsuellentrop.

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