Former Ball State men's volleyball coach Don Shondell dies

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Posted at 1:54 PM, Nov 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-24 17:29:57-05

MUNCIE — Dr. Don Shondell, a volleyball legend who helped Ball State start its men's volleyball program, died Tuesday night at 92.

“Don Shondell was a friend to Ball State, an icon in our Muncie community, and a pioneer in the sport of volleyball,” Ball State University President Geoffrey S. Mearns said in a press release. “Through his extraordinary contributions to our university and the sport, his unmatched legacy lives on in so many of our current and past student athletes. We are deeply indebted to Dr. Shondell for the impact he made on so many lives - as a coach, teacher, and friend to us all.”

Don, a 1952 alumnus of Ball State, founded men's volleyball at the university in 1960. He worked to make men's volleyball a varsity sport at the university, despite opposition, according to the university.

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Don finished his career at the university with a record of 769-280-6. He holds the record for the most career wins by a Ball State coach in any sport, according to the university.

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“Dr. Shondell’s impact on the Ball State Athletics Department was transformational in every role he served,” Beth Goetz, director of athletics at Ball State, said in the press release. “His amazing legacy will never be forgotten, and we are forever grateful that current student-athletes, alumni and future Cardinals will experience that impact every time they walk into the Dr. Don Shondell Practice Center for generations to come.”

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In July 2018, the university opened a practice facility named after him. The 19,000 gross square feet facility has a two regulation-size courts and are used by both volleyball and basketball teams.

Tributes are pouring in on social media from across the country.

From Dave Shondell which started at Daleville High School, then went to Muncie Central to now a legend at Purdue Volleyball who is ranked # 6 in the nation. To Steve Shondell coaching at Burris having 20+ State Titles in a row to being great success at Ball state University (which I was one of his recruits.) To John Shondell being great success at Boiler Jrs winning a national championship. To having great success being the assistant at Purdue with his brother. They all have followed in Don's footsteps their father. As many coaches and players as myself have kept his mentorship and leadership alive to what Muncie Volleyball is all about! Shondell family are such great people, and mentors. From personal experience of knowing all of them they are simply amazing and always remembered as Don Shondell the father will be forever.
Valorie Wells, Head Volleyball Coach for Daleville High School