Volleyball Coach returns to Alma Mater

Steve Shondell, Steve Hendricks and Dr. Don Shondell at the 50th Anniversary of Ball State men's volleyball Jan. 4 in Muncie, Ind. Photo courtesy of Ball State.

MUNCIE, Ind. -- Barry head volleyball coach Steve Hendricks, a Ball State 1990 graduate, had the opportunity on January 4 to attend the 50th anniversary of Ball State men's volleyball. Hendricks traveled back to Muncie to celebrate this reunion with fellow alumni from five decades.

A total of 270 players have earned letters from the Ball State men's volleyball program, dating back to 1962. The program has racked up an impressive 1,067-440-8 all-time record since the inception of  volleyball as a varsity sport in 1964.

"It was an amazing event to see so many alums return and reconnect with former friends, coaches and teammates," Hendricks said. "I feel extremely fortunate to be a part of the Ball State men's volleyball program and have played for one of the all-time great coaches and mentors, Dr. Don Shondell. My playing experience at Ball State and the coaching pedigree I received changed my life, and influenced me to join a long list of successful Ball State alumni in the coaching profession. I draw from the foundation I received at Ball State every day in the gym when coaching or mentoring my student-athletes."

Hendricks had the opportunity to compete in three NCAA Final Fours during his career at Ball State. During his playing career, he also assisted Steve Shondell, a Ball State 1977 grad, at Muncie Burris High School, winning one Indiana state title (77-2 over two years), and Wes Lyons, another 1977 Cardinals graduate, in the Munciana Volleyball Club that finished in the top 5 at the USA Volleyball National Championships.

The Ball State men's program is widely known to have produced more volleyball coaches than any other university in the country. 

"It is a very special fraternity,"  Hendricks added. "It is very common to run into 10 or more Ball State alumni collegiate coaches at national tournaments when out recruiting. There are so many of us coaching at all levels of the game: elementary, high school, club, men's and women's college and international teams. We are all very fortunate to have been influenced by coach Shondell.  He is an incredible man and friend. He always told us that because volleyball has given so much to each of us that we need to somehow give back to the game.  He was absolutely correct, and it is something that I now try to instill in my student-athletes."

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