Ryan Horn is the new strength and conditioning coach at Wichita State. He will oversee the department and work with men’s basketball. We discuss his path from football fullback to his profession, one that includes a chat at a Kentucky football camp, a talk with his dad and injuries. He discusses his love language with athletes, how he plans to coach them with relentless positivity and high expectations and how building relationships is the most important part of his job. He reveals his favorite movie and the importance of selecting the musical playlist for workouts.
ESPN+ broadcaster Steve Strain previews this weekend’s UCF-Wichita State softball clash at Wilkins Stadium. We talk about how the Knights use their speed and pitching, how the Shockers counter with power hitting and what this series means to the big picture. We also discuss the improvement in the Shockers pitching staff and how hitters such as Neleigh Herring. Zoe Jones and Lauren Lucas are crucial to the success. Steve talks about his impressions of Wichita State’s dynamic top-of-the-order hitters Sydney McKinney and Addison Barnard.
Coach Chris Lamb joins the podcast to wrap up spring practices. He discusses what the Shockers learned from scrimmages against schools such as Kansas, Colorado State, Kansas State and Oklahoma. He talks about experimenting with middle Natalie Foster, Sophie Childs’ progress and Brylee Kelly’s growth in the back row. We wrap up by talking about the hungry attitude he wants to see from the Shockers in the fall.
Hammer thrower Michael Bryan, a two-time NCAA All-American, joins the podcast to talk about his path from lightly recruited high school football player to Wichita State record-holder. He discusses how his love for the hammer grew into a research project and why a school-closing snow storm won’t keep him from throwing outdoors in January. He breaks down the “jar of pennies” philosophy that guides his school and training and the music of Sam Cooke helps him during practices.
P.J. Couisnard, a member of Wichita State’s 2006 NCAA Sweet 16 basketball team, talks about the docuseries “A Cooz Story.” The film is about Couisnard’s work in Houston’s Third Ward helping children through sports and academics at Cooz Elite Sports. We talk about the influence of his parents and how their ministry shaped his life, how his own academic struggles played a role and why he returned to Houston to do this work. We wrap up by indulging in 2006 reminiscing about a big game against Bradley and the NCAA Tournament win over Tennessee that sent the Shockers to the Sweet 16.
The topic is spring volleyball, in which the Shockers are doing their typical experimenting and polishing. Associate head coach Sean Carter updates the goal of growing into the best defensive team in the American Athletic Conference, Brylee Kelly’s work as a six-rotation player and Natalie Foster’s changing roles. We talk about the chemistry that helped last season’s success and the mindset that coaches want to see from the Shockers in the fall. On Aprll 9, the Shockers play at Koch Arena with Air Force, Missouri State, Oklahoma and Tulsa scheduled to participate.
Wichita State softball coach Kristi Bredbenner joins us after win No. 300 brings her within 11 wins of passing Jim Maynard as the program’s winningest coach. We get nostalgic over the 2014 team that won the team’s first MVC title, weird injuries and first baseman Cacy Williams’ influence on those early years. Bredbenner tells us how former Wichita State senior associate athletic director Becky Endicott sent a secret emissary to gauge her interest in the job in 2011. We also talk about how advice from her father helped during tough times and detail her biggest wins and two regrets.
Vlad Bondarchuk (Bonder-chook) is in his second year as student manager for the Wichita State volleyball team. He grew up in Smila, a Ukranian city of around 66,000 in the Central region of the country. Vlad joins the podcast to talk about the Russian invasion, how he is handling this difficult time with friends and family in peril and how people can help refugees. You can donate by contacting Vlad at email@example.com.
Junior infielder Sawyre Thornhill joins the podcast to talk about how the Shockers stayed together and rallied after a tough start to the season. He talks about his one superstition during a hitting streak, how COVID-19 changed his college plans and how he ended up starting in left field. He discusses his love for deer hunting, which Shocker teammate is the best basketball player and why shortstop Carlos Correa is his favorite baseball player.
Brad Pittman, tournament manager for the NCAA Tournament women’s basketball regional rounds coming to Intrust Bank Arena on March 25-28, joins the podcast to discuss preparations. Pittman talks about ticket sales, hoped-for schools assigned to the bracket and the timeline for getting the arena ready for visitors and fans. We get into why the arena has been a success for luring NCAA events and how upgrades to the airport and hotels are also part of the competition. Pittman wraps it up with his memories of organizing the 2006 Rolling Stones concert at Cessna Stadium, which started with a phone call that was hard to believe.