Associate Head Coach
John Shondell is in his 16th year at Purdue after joining the Boilermaker coaching staff as an assistant coach in March of 2003. After 10 years as an assistant coach, John was promoted to associate head coach in January 2013.
Prior to his time at Purdue, Shondell spent nine years as head coach of the New Castle High School volleyball program, where his teams ranked among the top 10 in the state each of his last seven years. In his tenure at New Castle, 12 of his players earned NCAA Division I scholarships, including seven athletes in his last two years. His teams compiled a 296-87 record and were ranked in the top two in the state each of his last three years. In 2001, New Castle posted a 34-4 record, helping Shondell earn Class 4A Indiana State Coach of the Year honors. He was named North Central Conference Coach of the Year four times (1996, 1997, 2000, 2001).
Before leading New Castle, Shondell was the assistant coach at Muncie Burris High School for four years (1990 to 1993). The Muncie Burris teams went 130-3 and won three state and two national championships in that time. Shondell's first head coaching job came in 1989, when he took over the Delta High School program in Royerton, Ind. In his one year at Delta, the team was second in the state poll and finished the season with a 31-4 record. Shondell was named White River Conference Coach of the Year at season's end.
The former Ball State player also has coaching and administrative experience on the club volleyball circuit. He was either a head coach or assistant coach in the ASICS Munciana Volleyball Club from 1989 to 2003 and led his teams to numerous medal finishes, including the 2002 18's Open national championship. Shondell also was club director and head coach for the Henry County Sports Medicine Volleyball Club for eight years.
"John is one of the best trainers in the sport of college volleyball and our players respond extremely well to him," head coach and brother Dave Shondell said. "He takes great pride in putting together practice plans to suit each player, and being creative in finding ways to make each player better. He also works very hard on scouting and preparation for matches. John has the ability to take a head coaching position at any time, but we are fortunate that he has made a commitment to stay here until we have achieved our ultimate goal."
John, a Muncie, Ind., native, had a very successful career as a player at Ball State and for the Munciana AAU Volleyball Club. He was the starting setter for the Cardinals for three years, earning All-America honors as a junior and all-conference accolades each of his final two years. As a freshman, Shondell was the backup setter for the team that made an appearance in the NCAA Final Four. While playing for Munciana from 1982 to 1988, he garnered All-America honors each year and was named the National Most Valuable Player in 1982, 1984 and 1986.
"I think the volleyball program at Purdue is in a very good place right now," the Boilermaker assistant said. "In the years I have been at Purdue, I have been very lucky to have had the opportunity to work with quality athletes on and off the court. Our volleyball program has consistently improved each year and I think this trend will continue. I think our coaching staff is outstanding. Each of us has such different strengths that balance our staff out beautifully and make our staff as complete as any staff in college volleyball."
Shondell graduated from Ball State with a bachelor's degree in physical education (K-12). He lives in Lafayette with his wife Laura, a 1999 Purdue graduate, and daughters, Allie and Lexi.
Kathy Jewell, a native of Jeffersonville, Ind., is in her 16th year at Purdue after joining the Boilermakers as the first assistant in March of 2003.
"Kathy is extremely well organized and extremely driven to be successful," head coach Dave Shondell said. "She is certainly the coach on our staff that does the most behind the scenes. She doesn't get a lot of the attention or notoriety, but she is a rock for John and I and has made a great impact on Purdue volleyball during the last eight years. She is a great liaison between our student-athletes and coaches and she takes control of this team in so many ways that people don't see. Without Kathy, there is no way that our program would be in the position that it is, ready to take the next step to become one of the premier programs in the country."
Jewell brought five years of coaching experience on various levels to the Purdue program. From August 2000 until her hiring at Purdue, she was an assistant coach at Central Michigan, acting as recruiting and travel coordinator while working with the outside hitters on the court. In her three seasons with the program, Jewell also worked with the Chippewas' summer camps, community activities and high school and state Special Olympics games.
After a four-year career as an outside hitter for Division II Northern Michigan (1994 to 1997), Jewell began coaching in Louisville, Ky., with the Derby City Volleyball Club. In 1999, Jewell landed the assistant varsity coaching job at Our Lady of Providence High School in Clarksville, Ind., where she assisted with team conditioning and training as well as summer camp administration. In 2001, she coached the Valley Volleyball West 18 Elite team in St. Louis, Mich.
"Coaching in the best conference in the nation has given me a chance to train some great young women and to prepare them to compete against the best talent in the nation," Jewell said. "There is nothing like coaching in the Big Ten and at a great university like Purdue. Purdue has given us all of the tools to succeed and to be one of the top programs in the nation and we are on our way to doing just that."
As a player at Northern Michigan, Jewell helped guide the Wildcats to the Division II Elite Eight three times, as they captured second, third and fourth place. The Wildcats won the Division II national championship during Jewell's freshman year in 1994. A three-year team captain, Jewell garnered NCAA Elite Eight All-Tournament team honors during her sophomore and junior seasons. A 2000 inductee into the NMU Hall of Fame as part of the 1994 national championship team, Jewell was named All-Great Lakes Region her final two years. She ranks second in career digs (1,359), third in career matches played (145), fourth in career service aces (159), and ninth in career kills (974) at NMU. Her 1996 and 1997 season dig totals both rank in the top five in the Wildcat record book. The Wildcats posted a record of 134-16 during her collegiate career.
As a prep athlete at Our Lady of Providence High School, Jewell earned four letters each in volleyball and softball and three in basketball. The outside hitter was twice named team MVP while leading the team in digs. Jewell was a member of the 1994 ICGSA/Mizuno South All-Star team. Her team was sectional champion three times.
Jewell graduated from Northern Michigan with a bachelor's degree in management of health and fitness in 1998.
In June 2011, Jewell was an assistant coach for one of two teams competing in the Bring It Promotions/USA-China Challenge, which also featured Boilermakers Catherine Rebarchak and Carly Cramer.
Supervisor of Operations
Stephanie (Lynch) Harpenau
A familiar face returned to the Boilermaker sidelines in the summer of 2016 as three-time All-American middle blocker Stephanie (Lynch) Harpenau took on a new role as supervisor of volleyball operations.
"I am beyond excited and honored to be returning to West Lafayette as a member of the Purdue Volleyball staff," Harpenau said. "I had a wonderful experience as a student-athlete at Purdue while playing for this coaching staff and I am looking forward to working with them to continue to raise the volleyball program to the next level."
Harpenau, a first team All-America selection in 2008 and honorable mention honoree in 2006 and 2007, returns to West Lafayette after spending the last six years as a science teacher and the last three years as the head volleyball coach at Providence High School in Charlotte, North Carolina.
As head coach of the Panthers since 2013, Harpenau compiled a 59-22 record, while mentoring 11 all-conference players, one high school All-American and three players who went on to the Division I ranks. Her 2014 team went 26-3 and finished as the 4A state runner-up, while winning the West Regional, South Mecklenburg 8A Conference regular-season and tournament titles. In 2015, the 2014 South Mecklenburg 8A Conference Coach of the Year led the team to a 4A state Sweet 16 finish.
As part of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Corporation, Harpenau has taught honors chemistry and honors forensic science at Providence since 2013. She taught chemistry and earth/environmental science at West Mecklenburg High School from 2010 to 2013 as a Teach for America corps member. She was the West Mecklenburg APPLE Award Winner in November 2012 for demonstrating a positive attitude, pride, professionalism, leadership and effort among faculty.
"It is a great day for Boilermaker Volleyball when Stephanie Lynch returns to Purdue University to serve as Supervisor of Operations for the volleyball program," head coach Dave Shondell said. "No player in my 13 years at Purdue has worked harder or been more loyal to our purpose than Stephanie. I look forward to having a former Boiler on our staff who has benefitted from the experience of competing in the rugged Big Ten, knows our coaching philosophies, understands what it will take for our athletes to succeed, and will be 100 percent invested in our mission of winning championships and graduating scholar athletes. I am thrilled to have Stephanie join our staff."
After graduating from Purdue in December 2009, Harpenau played one season of professional volleyball in Switzerland with the Neuchatel Volleyball team, which finished second in the country.
Collegiately, the first first team All-America honoree for Purdue since 1985 led the Boilermakers to four NCAA appearances, including three Sweet 16s. She was a four-time All-Mideast Region honoree, garnering honorable mention honors as a freshman and first team accolades her last three seasons. The New Albany, Indiana, native also was a four-time Big Ten Conference honoree, making the All-Big Ten Freshman team as a rookie and earning first team honors her final three years, including unanimous selection as a senior.
Harpenau set Purdue career records for hitting percentage (.351), block assists (550) and total blocks (660), while ranking second in blocks per set (1.34) and fourth in solo blocks (110) and kills (1,544). Her hitting percentage mark has been surpassed by KiKi Jones (2011-14) and she has since moved into fifth place in kills.
The six-time Big Ten Player or Defensive Player of the Week honoree owns the Purdue record for season block assists (174 in 2008) and hitting percentage (.409 in 2008) and also boasts spots among the top 10 for solo blocks (10th in 2007), total blocks (2nd, 7th and 10th) and blocks per game (3rd, 6th, 8th).
Harpenau was named Sports Imports/AVCA National Player of the Week on Nov. 20, 2007, a first for a Purdue player. The three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection and 2008 CoSIDA Academic All-District V honoree also earned the Durham Brothers Leadership Award and Red Mackey Award for Leadership. She also was a member of the committee which developed the Athletic Code of Conduct.
Stephanie is married to former Boilermaker track and field standout and Big Ten Champion Ben Harpenau. The couple has a daughter, Ella, born in January 2016.
Women's Volleyball Graduate Student Manager
Western Kentucky standout Jessica Lucas joins head coach Dave Shondell and the Purdue volleyball staff as the program's Graduate Manager. Lucas graduates from WKU as a three-time C-USA Setter of the Year.
"Jessica is a unique individual with an infectious personality that makes others better," said Shondell. "As an athlete, she is extremely determined and wise. She worked her way into an all-america setter. When we established this position, Jessica was our target from day one. Purdue volleyball is better today because of the addition of Jessica Lucas."
Lucas, a native of Seymour, Indiana, was a four-year starter for WKU and averaged over 11 assists per set her final three years. She was always a factor defensively as well, averaging over two digs per set each of her four years with the Hilltoppers. In 2017 she became the first Lady Topper to earn four all-america honors in a single season. Altogether, she earned eight all-america honors and was a four-time C-USA First Team All-Conference selection.
"I am honored to have the opportunity to continue to be a small part of a program with such a rich tradition of success," said Lucas. "I grew up watching Purdue volleyball and I have always had a great respect for Coach Shondell and his staff. To be able to continue my education, be around the sport I love, and work with people I admire so much is a dream come true. I can't wait to get started."