Our Story

Established in 1978, Mike Shane, a former coach and teacher at Emporia High School started a trophy shop. Then expanded into a full line of sports equipment, Mike’s Sporting Goods. In 1980 Larry Houdek, an All-American athlete from Kansas Wesleyan University, stepped out on his own after working many years at Knights Sporting Goods, and founded Sports Connection in Salina Kansas. Through their coaching connections Larry and Mike joined forces with USA Inc in 1985. Over the years they owned sporting goods stores in Garden City, Bartlesville Oklahoma, Salina, and 2 locations in Emporia. With all the locations, one aspect stayed the same, customer service. Road salesmen were traveling the Midwest to insure all the coaches and players had the best sporting equipment available. Eric Hirsch who worked for Mike Shane for over 20 years bought the company in 2017. Retirements from the original owners have led to consolidating to one location and one name, Sports Connection. In a time of the digital age Sports Connection continues to provide in person, on site, face-to face sports equipment sales. Customer service is our specialty, you can count on our friendly and experienced sales force to ensure you get exactly what you need. Sports Connection is Kansas’ team sporting goods provider – silk screening, embroidery, uniforms, equipment, trophies and more.

Meet Our Team

Erich Hirsch


Matt Ibarra

Road Salesman

Linda Passmore

Head Manager

Jan Kushner

Road Salesman

Kevin Watkins

Road Salesman

Michael Crank

Road Salesman

Heath Botkin

Shipping Manager

Sydney Hedwig

Retail Manager

Nicole McKee