The Wichita track and field community is mourning the death of Pat Wilson, the longtime pole vault coach at Wichita State who died of brain cancer on Sunday evening.
Wilson was an assistant coach for the Shockers for 16 years before stepping away last fall to focus on his health. In his time at WSU, he coached six NCAA All-Americans, seven conference champions and 18 all-conference vaulters.
Funeral arrangements are pending at this time.
“Coach Pat Wilson was such an integral part of Shocker track and field for the last 16 years and is a gentleman that was loved universally by athletes throughout the Wichita State track and field program from all event areas,” WSU head coach Steve Rainbolt said in a statement.
Wilson was as influential as anyone in helping the pole vault event grow in and around Wichita.
Following a standout career as a pole vaulter at WSU from 1994-98, the Leon native and Bluestem High School graduate helped start the pole vault program from scratch at Friends University.
During that same time, Wilson also coached at Southeast High School and was the head pole vault coach for Wichita Public Schools.
“His work with the pole vaulters was exemplary and high achieving, but more significantly he was a person that was so highly thought of by everyone because of his kindhearted and friendly nature that he brought with him to work every day throughout his time on our coaching staff,” Rainbolt said in a statement.