By Janet Roepke and Elizabeth Douglass—
MUNCIE, IN—We propose that the first Saturday in September each year be celebrated as Shondell Day in Delaware County.
On Saturday September 2, 2023, a group of former Burris volleyball players announced a new scholarship in honor of Muncie’s Steve Shondell. Mr. Shondell led the school to 21 Indiana state championships and four national championships in girl’s volleyball – making him one of the nation’s winningest high school volleyball coaches.
In announcing the scholarship, former Burris player Liz Douglass called it “a tangible way for his grateful players and admirers to help cement his legacy and encourage others to follow his lead.” Burris teammate Janet Roepke noted that Shondell was a patient and caring coach who treated everyone with kindness. “He poured all his time and energy into finding ways to motivate and encourage each individual player on his teams to be the best they could be, on and off the court,” she said.
The Steve Shondell Scholarship will be awarded each year to a Burris High School senior volleyball player who most exemplifies the positive mental attitude that was fostered by Shondell.
“I can’t thank you enough for the scholarship in my name that will be a part of Burris volleyball forever,” Shondell told the former players who surprised him with the scholarship announcement. “Seeing so many of my early players at Burris meant the world to me. I will treasure that day for the rest of my life.”
Shondell played men’s volleyball at Ball State University under his dad, head coach Don Shondell. Before finishing his playing career, Shondell founded the Munciana volleyball club and then began his high school coaching career. As Munciana grew, so did the number of wonderful coaches in our community, leading to Delaware County becoming the Volleyball Mecca of the Midwest.
Through his humble and positive coaching as well as the creation of Munciana, he has directly and indirectly had an immensely beneficial impact on the lives of countless volleyball players in our community and in this country. Many of his former players attribute their personal achievements at least in part to the confidence they gained from playing for Mr. Shondell and from his example of servant leadership.
He coached Muncie Burris from the mid 1970’s to 2009, and again in 2019. In addition to leading teams to the state and national titles, Shondell was named Indiana Coach of the year 10 times, and National High School Coach of the Year twice. His winning record is amazing in itself, but when you consider he was able to coach a team from a very small high school at a time when there was no IHSAA class system, to become state champions repeatedly, it is incredible.
The scholarship was unveiled Sept. 2 at the annual Shondell Family Invitational high school volleyball tournament held in Muncie. The Steve Shondell Scholarship fund is administered by The Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware County.
If you would like to honor Mr. Shondell, donations can be made by calling 765-747-7181 or going to the webpage at: https://cfmdin.fcsuite.com/erp/donate/create/fund?funit_id=2155