Washburn alumnus Mark Selbee dies in boating accident

The morning of May 24 started as an innocent trip out to the lake with a father and his two children but ended in tragedy when Mark Selbee, 45, was identified as a drowning victim at Hillsdale Lake in Miami County, Kan.  The recovery search for the Topeka native took 27 hours. Selbee was a Washburn University graduate and a retired world renowned kickboxing champion. Selbee’s most memorable fights are on YouTube videos. 

Katy Browne, administrative specialists for the Washburn Alumni Association, said that according to their records, Selbee received a bachelor’s degree in 1992.

Selbee was nicknamed “The Hammer” in the super heavy weight division of traditional tae kwon do and kickboxing.  His accomplishments included International Kickboxing Federation Amateur Full Contact Rules East Coast U.S. Heavyweight Championship, International Kickboxing Federation Pro Full Contact Rules USA Heavyweight Championship, International Kickboxing Federation Pro Full Contact Rules North American Heavyweight Championship and International Kickboxing Federation Pro Full Contact Rules Super Heavyweight World Championship according to his online profile. 

Selbee’s dedication and sacrificial attitude extended far beyond his college studies and career, though.  Selbee could often be seen with his three children, who came to the training facility to watch their father practice kick boxing.  He is survived by his wife, Amy Selbee and his children young children, Easton, Ellie Brooke and Hudson.

According to Miami County officials, Selbee entered the water to retrieve part of a water gun. Selbee swam to return to the boat, but his head disappeared underwater and did not resurface. 

It is still unknown why Selbee was found 20 feet underwater that weekend.  Autopsy reports are still processing to discover the cause of Selbee’s death. 

The website giveforward.com has been established to commemorate Selbee’s legacy. Aside from donating online, those who wish to lend their support to Selbee’s family can also send donations to Selbee Memorial Fund at Enterprise Bank, 12695 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park, KS 66213. 

The funeral and memorial for Selbee will be held from 11 a.m. to noon Friday, May 30 at the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, 13720 Roe Ave. in Leawood, Kan.