Shocker Spirit – A Fan’s Perspective of Wichita State Athletics

Wichita State fansMatt Crow/Undergraduate Admissions

One of the many benefits of being a Shocker is free tickets to home Shocker Athletic events. But what is to be expected from Shocker athletics? How do their programs stack up against the field of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division 1 field – the highest level of collegiate athletic competition?

Here are some fast facts for fans:

Wichita State has 15 varsity teams.

Men’s Athletics
- Basketball
- Baseball
- Track & Field (Indoor and Outdoor)
- Cross Country
- Tennis
- Golf

Women’s Athletics
- Basketball
- Softball
- Track & Field (Indoor and Outdoor)
- Cross Country
- Tennis
- Golf

This list doesn’t include teams not considered official NCAA programs, but are still offered at Wichita State including bowling, rowing and esports.

The American Athletic Conference

The Shockers are a full American Athletic Conference (AAC) conference member. They are the lone member that does not sponsor football. Wichita State’s final year with a football team was 1986 as a result of the program’s financial stress on the university.

Following a restructuring in 2023, the AAC boasts strong competition with the following member schools:

  • University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • East Carolina University
  • Florida Atlantic University
  • University of Memphis
  • University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • University of North Texas
  • Rice University
  • University of South Florida
  • Southern Methodist University
  • Temple University
  • University of Texas at San Antonio
  • Tulane University
  • University of Tulsa


Wichita State possesses excellent sports venues for fans to catch games. Charles Koch Arena, home of the basketball and volleyball programs, is often considered among the best indoor college athletic facilities in the nation. It is also frequently chosen as a host site for The Basketball Tournament (TBT) regional bracket during the summer, during which the Shocker men’s basketball alumni team – The Aftershocks – compete for a $1 million grand prize.

Darral Willis celebrates with fans during the 2023 TBT.Matt Crow/Undergraduate Admissions
Aftershocks player Darral Willis celebrates with fans during the 2023 TBT at Charles Koch Arena.


Not to be outdone, Wichita State recently announced major investments in several other athletic facilities:

  • Already underway is the renovation of Cessna Stadium, with the east stands being demolished in the summer of 2023. The Kansas Board of Regents approved $12 million in funding for the first two phases of the project. When completed, the new stadium will house an expected 13,500-capacity for track and field and future soccer programs.
  • Wilkins Stadium, home of Shocker softball, is expected to receive a $17.5 million facelift in the future – excellent news for one of WSU’s highest-achieving programs.
Lauren Lucas waits for the pitch during a 2022 game at Wilkins Stadium.Matt Crow/Undergraduate Admissions
Lauren Lucas waits for the pitch during a 2022 game at Wilkins Stadium.


Above all, Wichita State Athletics looks to continue its upward momentum. Several programs boast national recognition and recent postseason berths – notably softball’s NCAA Regional in 2022. Shockers also have a strong representation in professional sports with notable players like the Houston Rocket’s Fred VanVleet reaching NBA stardom, and Alec Bohm becoming a core player of the Philadelphia Phillies. There is plenty to cheer for as a Shocker fan, and those interested can follow each program on the Shocker Athletics website.


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