Dr. Don Shondell is the patriarch of one of the best known families in American volleyball. His career has been long and varied as a volleyball coach, author and program coordinator. He has a career record of 769–280–6 (.732), affording him the second highest number of wins in NCAA men's volleyball history, behind UCLA's Al Scates.
Shondell graduated from Ball State University in 1952 and started Ball State's men's volleyball program in 1964. Shondell took a leave from the program in 1965 to complete a doctoral program at Indiana University.
As head coach of Ball State's men's volleyball program, he won 20 Midwest Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA) titles in 34 seasons. In 1970, he led Ball State to the first NCAA Men's Volleyball Championship tournament. He later earned twelve more NCAA berths.
Shondell was a co-founder of the MIVA, the organization's first president, and an eight-time MIVA coach of the year winner.
He retired as head coach of Ball State in 1998 and was replaced by Joel Walton, a former player and assistant coach. After retirement Shondell began coaching the Middle School volleyball team at Muncie Burris Laboratory School in Muncie, Indiana. He also coaches youth volleyball in the Muncie, Indiana area.
Shondell is the co-author and editor of the Volleyball Coaching Bible.
Among his former players are Olympian Phil Eatherton and Walton.
Shondell is the father of Dave Shondell, the present head women's volleyball coach at Purdue University, John Shondell, who is Dave's assistant at Purdue, and Steve Shondell, the former girls' volleyball coach at Muncie Burris High School where he accumulated over 1,000 wins. Steve has since moved on to take the head coaching position for the Ball State women's volleyball team. Don's daughter, Kim (Shondell) Fullove, works for the North Adams Community School district in Adams County, Indiana, where she has brought in millions of dollars to the district through countless grants. She has worked with other school districts to ensure that children's needs are met educationally.
Shondell is also the grandfather of former Tennessee women's player and current Youngstown State assistant coach Jasmine Fullove, former Purdue women's player Lindsay Shondell, and current Huntington University head coach Kyle Shondell.
Shondell currently coaches for the eighth-grade volleyball team at Burris Laboratory School. Don's eighth-grade team in 2010 went 16–0 for the first time since 2006. In 2014 his eighth-grade team went undefeated in the regular season and participated in the first-ever Munciana Volleyball Club middle school state championship. The team finished third, suffering their first loss of the season.
On December 15, 2010, Don's wife Betty died after fighting liver and pancreatic cancer. Her last words to her husband, three sons and daughter were "I love you".