Purdue Volleyball vs. Illinois - October 20, 2006 (Photos by Richard Myers-Walls)
Dave Shondell is entering his 10th year at the helm of the Purdue volleyball program after leading the team to seven NCAA Tournament berths in the last eight years, including five Sweet 16 appearances, and an Elite Eight appearance in 2010. The Big Ten and Mideast Region Coach of the Year in 2011, Shondell became the fourth head coach in the history of the Boilermaker program on Feb. 13, 2003.
In nine seasons, Shondell has transformed a program with just one winning season in the previous nine years into a perennial Big Ten Conference and national contender. In his first season, Shondell led the Boilermakers to two Top 25 wins and the program's first win over Ohio State in Columbus since 1988. In the eight years since, Purdue has made seven NCAA Tournament appearances, advancing to the second round each season, making the program one of 12 nationally. The team's five Sweet 16 berths in the last seven seasons makes the school one of nine in the nation that can boast the accomplishment. The Boilermakers have posted five 20-win seasons, including 29 victories in 2011, the program's highest total since 1985. Under Shondell, Purdue has defeated 30 ranked teams and climbed the Big Ten standings, finishing second in 2011, the team's best finish since 1987.
Shondell has coached four All-Americans and two Academic All-American. His charges also have earned 15 All-Big Ten and 55 Academic All-Big Ten accolades.
The 2003 Boilermakers posted a 14-17 record to kick off the Shondell era. The squad finished eighth in the Big Ten, while earning several milestone victories, including a sweep of Indiana.
In 2004, Purdue ended a 14-year absence from the NCAA Tournament and posted a 17-15 overall mark. The Boilermakers knocked off four Top 25 opponents in a season for the first time since 1985, and earned their first national ranking since 1990 with the No. 24 spot in the Sept. 6 AVCA Coaches Poll. The team topped No. 9 Colorado State in the NCAA first round, marking Purdue's first postseason win since the 1987 NCAA Tournament.
Shondell guided the 2005 Boilermakers to the NCAA Sweet 16 for the first time since 1987. Purdue spent 13 weeks among the nation's top 25, and saw setter Renata Dargan become the program's first All-American since 1989, as she earned honorable mention accolades. The team finished with a 25-9 mark, the most wins for the program since 1985, including a 12-8 Big Ten record and a Sweet 16 loss to eventual national champion Washington.
In 2006, the Boilermakers continued to thrive in the national spotlight, making their second-straight NCAA Sweet 16 appearance, while spending the entire season ranked among the nation's Top 25. Purdue posted a 23-11 overall mark, including a fifth-place finish in Big Ten play. The effort marked the first time Purdue had registered back-to-back 20-win seasons and back-to-back winning Big Ten finishes since the 1984 and 1985 campaigns.
The 2007 Boilermakers managed a 19-14 record, including a third-place Big Ten finish, its best since 1990. Purdue advanced to the NCAA Tournament second round for the fourth-straight season, making it one of only 12 teams to do so.
The 2008 season brought the Boilermakers their third NCAA Sweet 16 berth and saw the team post its highest overall and conference win totals since 1985 and 1987. Stephanie Lynch was named as the program's first AVCA first team All-America selection since 1985 as Purdue went 26-9, including a 13-7 Big Ten mark and fourth-place finish.
In 2009, the Boilermakers posted a 14-17 mark, including a seventh-place Big Ten finish and two wins over ranked opponents with a lineup that included just two seniors. Sophomore outside hitter Tiffany Fisher garnered honorable mention All-Big Ten acclaim, while rookie outside hitter Ariel Turner was named to the Big Ten All-Freshmen team.
The 2010 season was a banner year for the Boilermakers as the team advanced to the Elite Eight for the first time since 1982, knocked of a top five foe for the first time in program history (No. 4 Penn State on Oct. 8) and continued on to best top-ranked Florida in the Sweet 16. With a 24-11 overall mark and 12-8 Big Ten record, the team finished fourth in conference play. Setter Jaclyn Hart earned third team All-America honors and was named as a unanimous All-Big Ten selection. Redshirt freshman outside hitter Catherine Rebarchak was named to the All-Big Ten Freshman Team.
In 2011, the Boilermakers advanced to the NCAA third round (Sweet 16) for the sixth time in program history and the fifth time since 2005, making them just one of nine teams nationally to make at least five third-round appearances in the last seven years. Headlined by first team All-American and Big Ten Player of the Year Ariel Turner, unanimous All-Big Ten and honorable mention All-America selection Tiffany Fisher and Big Ten All-Freshman Team selection Kierra Jones, Purdue posted a 29-5 record, including a 16-4 mark in Big Ten play, good for second place. Shondell was named AVCA Mideast Region and Big Ten Coach of the Year after leading his team to its best overall mark since 1985 (34-4), best league mark since 1985 (17-1) and best conference finish since 1987 (second). The Boilermakers, who were ranked as high as eighth nationally, defeated a program-record seven ranked opponents. Turner capped her junior season as Purdue's first volleyball double All-American since 1984, garnering first team AVCA All-America and second team Academic All-America honors. Fisher's honorable mention selection gave Purdue its first pair of All-Americans since 1984. Six players garnered Academic All-Big Ten acclaim.
Shondell brought 22 years of experience to the Boilermaker sidelines. In 13 years at Muncie Central High School, Shondell led the Bearcats to four state titles, including the 2002 championship, and a 428-52 record (.891), good for the second-best winning percentage in Indiana high school volleyball history.
Under his leadership, Muncie Central won 56 consecutive North Central Conference matches from 1995 to 2001, and was the only public school to be ranked in the top 25 nationally each year since 1993. Three Muncie Central players earned high school All-America honors on Shondell's watch.
Shondell earned national coach of the year honors from studentsports.com after guiding his 2002 team to a 39-1 record, a state title and a No. 2 ranking in the Student Sports Fab 50.
In Shondell's 15 years as program co-director and head coach of the Munciana Club, 12 Munciana teams won USA Volleyball national championships. The club was honored for the best overall performance by a club for 12 consecutive years at the national championships, and Shondell's teams finished in the top five in the nation every year since 1991.
"I did not hesitate when offered the opportunity to coach at Purdue University," Shondell said. "I believe the location of West Lafayette to be the most ideal location to build a volleyball power. Our campus is located within easy driving distance of more quality volleyball prospects than any other college in the country. It is a tremendous academic institution and a university that supports women's athletics at a grand level.
"It is my hope to help build one of the elite volleyball programs in the country at Purdue. It is clear that we have all the necessary resources to develop a national contender. Building a great program is more than winning volleyball matches; it is more about providing each player with the best academic, athletic, and social experience that can be found anywhere. I believe that we are putting that kind of program in place in West Lafayette."
Shondell worked with some of the top youth in the nation as assistant coach for the USA Junior National Team during the 1998-99 season, helping the team win the NORCECA Games in Cuernavaca, Mexico, to earn a bid to the world championships.
Shondell began his coaching career as an assistant men's volleyball coach at Ball State during the 1980-81 season. He then became head volleyball coach at Daleville High School in 1981, a position he held until 1988. From 1986 to 1988, Shondell's Daleville squad owned a top-five state ranking and posted a 167-63 overall record (.726), the best winning percentage by any coach ever at the school.
Morgan Burke, Purdue's director of intercollegiate athletics, said the decision to hire Shondell has paid off.
"Dave Shondell is doing just what he said he would do. He is building a nationally prominent program," Burke said. "The prospects going forward are very bright for this program, and our objective is to support him in the quest to win championships."
Shondell, a Muncie, Ind., native, earned his bachelor's degree in physical education and health from Ball State in 1981, and finished his master's at the school in 1985.
Shondell and his wife, Angela, have four children: Karli (29), Lindsay (27), Ashlee (25) and Kyle (22). Lindsay graduated from Purdue in May 2007, following a three-year playing career.