Highly decorated volleyball coaches Ann Schilling of Daphne (Alabama) Bayside Academy and Steve Shondell of Muncie (Indiana) Burris Laboratory School recently added landmark victories to their storied careers.
Schilling became the first volleyball coach in the history of the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) to win 1,500 matches with Bayside’s 2-1 victory over defending Class 5A state champion Jasper High School on September 28.
The contest came as part of a weekend tournament at Hoover High School, which saw Schilling’s Admirals improve their season record to 34-8 and boost their 33-year coach’s overall ledger to 1,502-407 – a win total that ranks fourth nationally among active high school volleyball coaches and fifth all-time, according to the National High School Sports Record Book.
A 2018 Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame inductee, Schilling has won 24 state championships at Bayside – including 17 in a row (AHSAA record) – and made the Academy the first school in state history to win titles at the 1A, 2A, 3A and 4A classifications.
While Schilling has accumulated numerous coach of the year and hall of fame honors from various state and national organizations, perhaps her most remarkable title is one that has nothing to do with the volleyball court: “cancer survivor.”
Schilling was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer in February 2018 and astonishingly did not miss a single practice or game throughout the following season en route to yet another AHSAA title. Miraculously, after more than a year of treatment, she was declared cancer-free last month.
Prior to this season, Shondell had been retired from coaching at Burris since 2009 with a 34-year record of 1,183-95, 21 Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) state championships – including a streak of 13 in a row leading up to his retirement – and seven undefeated seasons. As a result of these tremendous accomplishments, Shondell was inducted into the NFHS National High School Hall of Fame in 2017.
After a nine-year absence, which included a six-year tenure as head women’s volleyball coach at Ball State University, Shondell decided to return to Burris this year, and with a 3-0 triumph over Daleville High School recorded his 1,200th victory – more than any other Indiana high school coach in any sport. Shondell’s career record at the high school level moved to 1,200-99, ranking him ninth in victories among active volleyball coaches and 15th all-time. His otherworldly winning percentage of .924 is currently the best among coaches on the NFHS all-time victories list.
Besides his induction into the National High School Hall of Fame, Shondell has received numerous other honors, including 10 Indiana Volleyball Coach of the Year awards and two national coach of the year honors, as well as places in the Indiana Volleyball Hall of Fame, the Delaware (Indiana) County Hall of Fame and the American Volleyball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Nate Perry is an intern in the NFHS Publications/Communications department. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan and a master’s degree in sport administration from Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. Prior to the NFHS, he worked in athletic communications/sports information offices at CMU and Tennessee Tech University.