Keith Schunzel named Kennesaw State head volleyball coach
News conference to be held Wednesday, Jan. 30, at 11 a.m. in KSU Convocation Center…
Georgia (Jan 28, 2013) — News conference to be held Wednesday, Jan. 30, at 11 a.m. in KSU Convocation Center Hospitality Suite
KENNESAW, Ga. (Jan., 28) – The Kennesaw State University Department of Athletics announced on Monday the hiring of Keith Schunzel as the new head coach for the Owls volleyball program.
A news conference will be held this Wednesday, Jan. 30, at 11 a.m. in the KSU Convocation Center Hospitality Suite to welcome Schunzel to the program.
One of the top up and coming talents in the volleyball community, Schunzel comes to Kennesaw State from the University of Kentucky where he spent the past two seasons as the Wildcats’ lead assistant under head coach Craig Skinner.
“We are delighted and thrilled about the hiring of Coach Schunzel,” said Kennesaw State Director of Athletics Vaughn Williams. “I am extremely confident that we have hired the perfect fit to take our volleyball program to the next level.”
“I am incredibly excited and grateful to join the Kennesaw State athletics family,” said Schunzel. “This is a thriving university and welcoming community. I first want to express my sincere gratitude to KSU Athletic Director Vaughn Williams, the search committee led by Scott Whitlock, and the many others involved in this process.
“The passion, vision and commitment exemplified by the leaders of this athletics department are truly inspiring,” Schunzel added. “There is no question that Kennesaw State offers its student-athletes a first-class academic and athletic experience, and because of this I am thrilled to lead its volleyball program to new heights."
While at Kentucky, Schunzel helped lead the Wildcats to a 50-17 record in two seasons, including a pair NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 showings. He served as the offensive coordinator while working primarily with the team’s setters, helping boost the UK offense to one of the best in the nation during his tenure.
Schunzel also worked as the team’s liaison to the compliance department as well as overseeing scheduling, planning practices and opponent scouting.
During the 2012 season, the Wildcats compiled a 22-11 overall and recorded NCAA Tournament victories over East Tennessee State and Ohio State before falling to Penn State in the third round. Kentucky concluded the year ranked No. 20 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) final poll.
“Kennesaw State hit a home run in hiring Keith,” Skinner said. “He has an unbelievable IQ and passion for the game that will inevitably lead the program to new heights. His work ethic is outstanding, and he will be a great example for the team to follow. We are excited for Keith and his family to begin this new chapter in their lives.”
Prior to his time in Lexington, Ky., Schunzel spent one year as the first assistant at the University of North Texas, following a two-year stretch at Indiana University. While with the Mean Green, Schunzel helped guide North Texas to one of its best season’s in recent memory, earning a 20-win season and a trip to the second round in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament.
During his time in Bloomington, Ind., Schunzel’s recruiting class was ranked No. 22 nationally by PrepVolleyball.com. He helped the IU setters rack up 1,506 assists as the Hoosiers recorded their first winning campaign in eight seasons.
Schunzel began his coaching career at Purdue University in March of 2005, helping lead the Boilermakers to a trip to the NCAA Sweet 16 and a 25-9 record. Schunzel’s main responsibilities were scouting Purdue’s opponents and managing the team’s blockers during matches.
Schunzel left Purdue for Valparaiso University where he helped guide the Crusaders to a 44-24 overall record and a pair of Horizon League Championship finals in two seasons.
The Indiana native began his volleyball career as a player at both the collegiate and professional level, starting in 1999 as a four-year starter at Ball State University. The three-year team captain brought the Cardinals to the 2004 NCAA Final Four and a Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA) Championship.
Individually, the four-year starting setter earned second team All-America honors in 2004 and honorable mention recognition in 2003. Shunzel was a four-time All-MIVA honoree, garnering first team honors 2002 through 2004 and honorable mention in 2001. He also was named to the MIVA All-Academic team four times.
After graduation, Schunzel played professionally with Germany’s VfB Friedrichshafen Volleyball Club in 2004 and 2005.
Keeping with the volleyball theme, Schunzel’s wife, Briana, was the 2004 Mid-American Conference Player of the Year while a setter at Ohio University. The couple welcomed their first son, Griffin, in December of 2012.
What the Coaching World is Saying about Keith Schunzel
“Kennesaw State hit a home run in hiring Keith. He has an unbelievable IQ and passion for the game that will inevitably lead the program to new heights. His work ethic is outstanding, and he will be a great example for the team to follow. We are excited for Keith and his family to begin this new chapter in their lives.” – Craig Skinner, Head Coach, University of Kentucky
“I am extremely excited for Keith as well as Kennesaw State University Athletics. Keith has worked hard to prepare himself for his first Division I head coaching opportunity, and I am confident he will do a great job!” – Kenneth Murczek, Head Coach, University of North Texas
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 41,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the second-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 126 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.