MUNCIE, Ind. — Muncie volleyball legend Don Shondell was admitted to IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital around 12:30 p.m. Thursday.

The Star Press confirmed the news with Steve Shondell, one of Don’s three sons, who said that his father was found unconscious and rushed to the hospital. After initial tests, Don was found “very dehydrated” and diagnosed with pneumonia and a urinary tract infection, according to Steve.

While visitation rules have kept family from seeing Don, Steve said that the Hall of Fame coach had regained consciousness but remained “very drowsy.” Steve also said that after numerous phone calls with doctors and nurses he was “encouraged,” following an update he received around 4:45 p.m. Thursday.


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“Personally, I’m very optimistic at this point and based on what I heard from the doctors, they’re relieved to hear that he may only be in the hospital for a few days,” Steve said. “To me, that was all good news compared to when I got a call that said, ‘Your father’s unconscious, we’re taking him to the hospital immediately,’ and that’s pretty much all that was said.”

A timetable on Don’s stay was unknown Thursday afternoon, though Steve Shondell expected him to remain in the hospital for at least a couple of days. Steve first shared the news on a Facebook post, saying: “Please keep the Dr. of Midwest Volleyball in your prayers. … Dad is a strong Christian and will fight the fight.”

Don Shondell is widely considered one of the great all-time volleyball coaches in the country. After earning his undergraduate degree from Ball State in 1952, Don started the Ball State men’s volleyball program in 1964. In 34 seasons leading the Cardinals, Don Shondell boasted a 769-280-6 record — the second most wins in NCAA men’s volleyball history — won 20 Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association titles and helped Ball State to more than a dozen NCAA berths.

Some of Don’s most prestigious awards include being named to the Volleyball Hall of Fame (1996), All-Time Great Coach by USA Volleyball (1996) and American Volleyball Coaches Association Hall of Fame (2003).

Don’s three sons, Dave, John and Steve, went on to have successful volleyball coaching careers in their own right. Steve, a Hall of Fame coach and two-time National High School Coach of the Year at Burris, retired earlier this year to focus on his health. Dave and John remain on the Purdue women’s volleyball coaching staff as head and associate coach, respectively.

This article will be updated.

Robby General covers East Central Indiana high school sports at The Star Press. Contact him via…