Ball State coach excited to have new sports facility named after Shondell

The name on the new practice facility at Ball State is just as significant as the sports venue itself for the coaches and players.

Ball State coach Joel Walton said in an interview with Off the Block earlier this week that he is excited about the school opting to name the new facility in honor of the program’s inaugural coach and Volleyball Hall of Famer Don Shondell.


“Everything that he has meant not only for volleyball at Ball State but really for volleyball throughout the Midwest, I think that’s a great honor,” Walton said. “It will be nice to literally cement his legacy somewhere on Ball State’s campus.”

Ball State as part of the Cardinal Commitment: Developing Champions fundraising campaign announced earlier this summer that it was attempting to raise $4 million to name the new on-campus volleyball practice facility in honor of Shondell.

Shondell retired in 1998 following 39 years as the Cardinals head coach and with the second most career victories in NCAA volleyball history. In addition, Shondell as the founder of Ball State men’s volleyball and the MIVA was responsible for spreading college men’s volleyball throughout the Midwest.

The proposed name of the building, the Don Shondell Court Sports Practice Facility, would also make it one of the first buildings in the almost 100-year history of Ball State to be named after a coach.

Beyond the name of the practice facility, Walton said the new sports venue will help make practice times more available for the Cardinals.

Ball State men’s volleyball and three other teams currently practice and play their home matches at Worthen Arena. The amount of teams competing for practice time on at the same arena has created schedule conflicts and practicing at less than ideal times in recent years.

The money raised in the campaign also would be used to renovate and expand the Ball State men’s and women’s volleyball teams locker rooms.

“Those things combined with a new practice gym that gives us another space to train our team in, better access to training times and ideal training times for our team, all those things are fantastic,” Walton said.

The Cardinals last season had their second consecutive 20-win season and were ranked in the final national coaches poll. Ball State also advanced to the MIVA Tournament semifinals.

The Don Shondell Court Sports Practice Facility is projected to cost $8 million to build. To make a donation and to learn more about the Cardinal Commitment, check out the campaign’s website.