“Guiding gentle of volleyball within the Midwest,” legendary Dr. Don Shondell dies at 92

Dr. Don Shondell addressing the group on the groundbreaking of the Ball State apply facility that may open in his title/Ball State photograph

The daddy of Indiana volleyball, Dr. Don Shondell, died Tuesday night time.

Shondell, whose attain into the game is sort of past creativeness and who put Muncie, Indiana, on the volleyball map, was 92.

“He was the guiding gentle of volleyball within the Midwest for therefore lengthy,” mentioned Mick Haley, the previous USA Olympic, Texas and USC coach who performed for Shondell at Ball State.

Shondell was the daddy of Purdue coach Dave Shondell, whose brother John is his assistant. Their brother, Steve, was the longtime Muncie Burris coach and a former Ball State coach. All have been integral components of the Muncie highschool scene and the Munciana volleyball membership. They’ve a sister, Kim. 

“God referred to as Dr. Don house this previous night (Tuesday, 10:05 PM) together with his household surrounding him and loving him in Muncie,” Dave Shondell posted on his Fb web page. “After an unbelievable battle vs. a number of well being foes over the previous couple of years, Dad transitioned to his closing resting place to be with our mom (spouse, Betty) and so many others that he misses dearly. Our household was blessed with a one-of-a-kind father who at all times spent monumental time together with his youngsters. Dad was at all times family-first.”

Dave Shondell, left, with Don Shondell/Dave Shondell Fb

Shondell was a 1952 graduate of Ball State and never solely began the lads’s program there, but in addition was one of many co-founders of the MIVA, the lads’s volleyball convention. Ball State gained the MIVA regular-season title 19 occasions and the convention event 12 occasions. He retired because the Ball State coach in 1998, leaving with a file of 769-280 after 34 years, however then began teaching center college and the youngest of membership gamers. 

“He set the tone for a era of coaches. Two generations of coaches that got here after him,” mentioned Wisconsin coach Kelly Sheffield, who, like Kentucky coach Craig Skinner, is a Muncie product who performed at Ball State.

The depth’s of Shondell’s teaching tree is past perception. Haley — who additionally coached 4 nationwide junior college-championship groups at Kellogg — gained nationwide championships at Texas and USC, and Skinner took Kentucky to the NCAA title final spring.

“At one time, we had 60, 70 coaches on the market who all graduated from Ball State College,” Haley famous. 

That features two of Ohio State’s all-time greats, girls’s coach Jim Stone, and males’s coach Pete Hanson, who gained NCAA titles in 2011, 2016, and 2017

“Coach Shondell was an icon,” mentioned Stone, who performed at Ball State from 1972 to ’75, and now lives in Colorado. “Once I went to Ball State, I went with the thought of taking part in basketball, not volleyball. However the environment he had round his program was one the place he drew folks in. I used to be a kind of who acquired drawn in, and he mentored me and was a trainer and finally a colleague. 

“The factor I really like most about Coach Shondell is he cherished the game. He didn’t love a facet of the game. He coached junior-high ladies and school guys and women and men of all ages. He was an envoy and his teaching tree is fairly intensive.”

Hanson, who performed for the Cardinals in 1978 and ’79, is the one Ball State product to teach a males’s national-championship group. He performed for Haley on a kind of national-title group at Kellogg Group School earlier than transferring to Ball State.

“Don was the last word trainer when it comes to exposing you to all sides of the sport of volleyball,” Hanson mentioned from his house in Sheridan, Wyoming. “The opposite factor is he wished to reveal it to each kind of individual, whether or not they have been the best athlete otherwise you have been only a child off the road.

“That’s how he constructed the early years of his volleyball program at Ball State. Arnie Ball was a baseball participant in highschool. Jim Stone was a basketball participant. They acquired down there, and Don noticed some athletic capacity and satisfied them to be volleyball gamers and taught them the sport and turned them into nice gamers and nice coaches.

“That’s the legacy that Don constructed. He’d take a look at anyone and say, ‘Hey, I could make a volleyball participant out of this individual.’ That was his ability, the power to show and talk learn how to play the sport, he was actually, actually good at that.”

Shondell was enshrined into the International Volleyball Hall of Fame in 1996.

The Military years

That is from a narrative that appeared within the Ball State Day by day:

After graduating from Ball State in 1952, Shondell joined the army, assigned to Fort Leonard Wooden in Missouri. Whereas dedicating years of his life to the purple, white and blue, Shondell acquired his probability to teach and construct volleyball at his military base within the Ozarks.

“We had a residential volleyball event, and nobody knew learn how to play volleyball,” Shondell mentioned. “The primary two weeks, we spent setting the ball, bumping the ball, dealing with the ball and so forth. We made it to the finals of the event the place we confronted off towards officers who had performed for years, and we misplaced.”

After that first event, Shondell continued to teach and play together with his group, and he finally picked up on learn how to discover the perfect gamers. Former basketball gamers from the likes of Kansas and DePaul helped information Shondell’s group to an undefeated end and a championship within the residential event.

Returning to Indiana after his time within the service, Shondell moved to Brook, Indiana, together with his spouse, instructing fifth grade and training basketball. It was at the moment he was approached by former Ball State Athletic Director Bob McCall about making use of to the job as intramural director. After arriving in Muncie for a job interview, then Ball State President John Emens didn’t beat across the bush.

“I began explaining my background and the way I felt fairly certified,” Shondell mentioned. “[Emens] mentioned, ‘Don’t waste your time. Bob needs you to have the job. Would you like the job?’ I mentioned, ‘It could be an actual treasure to work at Ball State. That’s my dream job.’ He mentioned, ‘OK, you bought it.’ ”

Tom Beerman, left, and Mick Haley, with Dr. Don Shondell at Ball State

Haley went to Ball State in 1961.

“He had simply began the membership group in 1959 with Tom Beerman and that group,” Haley, 78, recalled from his house in Austin. “He was capable of get Ball State to make us a varsity group by 1964. Take into consideration that. And he has continued to be on each committee and lead in each approach he can.”

“All of us look as much as him as our coach nonetheless. He was at all times round, on the Indiana highschool championships, and the membership championships. He would drive to nationals in Orlando and sleep at a McDonald’s in Atlanta midway by means of behind his automotive after which stand up and go the remainder of the best way so he might watch Steve’s junior groups play.”

Stone: “We’d go down from Muncie to play a match at Indiana College, for instance, and we’d cease midway and he’d give a clinic,” Stone mentioned with amusing.

Breaking floor on the Dr. Don Shondell Apply Middle

An extended attain 

Shondell’s love for rising the sport was legendary.

“The quantity of people that have been instantly or not directly impacted and influenced by him in volleyball is incalculable,” Wisconsin’s Sheffield mentioned. 

Sheffield grew up with John Shondell. They went to center college and highschool collectively, and Sheffield coached for John at Newcastle Excessive Faculty. Sheffield’s youthful sister performed for Steve at Burris, the place Sheffield served as his JV coach.

“I used to be over at their home rather a lot as a child,” Sheffield recalled. “Don and Betty at all times had their home open with their little canine Dig ’em and Pepper. You can go there and watch some Cincinnati Reds video games or no matter.

“I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing now. That’s the way it’s influenced me and my household. I don’t know what number of occasions after I was simply getting began on this profession I’d go watch him prepare a group. Actually I did the identical with Steve and Dave. I took a training volleyball class from him. I’m nonetheless irritated to this present day as a result of I believe I deserved a greater grade,” Sheffield mentioned with amusing.

“He was a tricky grader. It was all these volleyball-junkie folks, and two-thirds of the category have been gamers who performed for him. All of us thought we had the system discovered, let’s go take a category from Don teaching volleyball, and we’ll take our A and get out of right here. He got here in ready and the usual was fairly excessive.”

All of the Shondells coached on the prolific Munciana membership at one time or one other.

Munciana proprietor and co-director Wes Lyon grew up in Muncie, performed for Don Shondell at Ball State from 1973-77, and later turned the top coach at Muncie Central, changing Dave Shondell when he went to Purdue.

“It’s a mentioned day and he actually left a legacy,” Lyons mentioned. “Even after I performed for him he was an ideal coach however he additionally let his athletes benefit from the school expertise. That was essential.

“He developed the love of the sport for therefore many individuals. You take a look at what number of former gamers have been compelled to enter teaching. It’s within the tons of. He had such an imprint on what’s taking place in america volleyball-wise.”

Don Shondell has grandchildren who’ve excelled at taking part in and training volleyball, too. This Tweet by John Shondell, together with his daughter, was on November 6. That’s Steve on the suitable:

“Don’s household (4 youngsters, ten grandchildren, and eleven nice grandchildren) is totally at peace with God’s will — his timing and choice,” Dave Shondell wrote. “Dad loved a full and memorable life. He was a few month away from his 93rd birthday. His willpower to beat Covid (and extra) was eye-opening, and I’ll always remember the battle he displayed in his closing days — in contrast to something I’ve ever seen. 

“Over the previous few days, our household shared reminiscences with Dad of the great occasions we spent collectively. We learn him messages from so many buddies, colleagues, former gamers and college students — and so many others who’ve been impacted by him in some ways. This contains Don’s position of a constructing Ball State Volleyball right into a nationwide energy. Dad will likely be remembered for a very long time for his efforts to advertise the game of volleyball — now the most well-liked group sport for ladies and quickest rising recreation for males. He’s really a pioneer of America’s Sport. No school in America has produced extra volleyball coaches than Ball State.”

“Few figures stand as tall within the historical past of our sport as Don Shondell,” AVCA government director Kathy DeBoer mentioned. 

Dave Shondell mentioned on Fb that there will likely be a burial early subsequent week.

“And on Dad’s request, host a ‘celebration of life’ at an acceptable time after the New 12 months. Dad loved listening to your entire notes and feedback! Dr. Don felt your love. Thanks in your love and dependable help.”

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