Courtesy: Ball State Athletics
- Named the 2013 AVCA Assistant Coach of the Year
Kevin Furnish, a former three-year letterwinner for the Ball State University men's volleyball team, is in his 15th season as his alma mater's assistant coach.
In his previous 14 seasons, the Cardinals have compiled a 271-140 overall record, including a 121-57 mark in MIVA action.
On Feb. 13, 2009, Furnish helped led Ball State to a 3-0 (30-13, 30-25, 30-23) victory over the Milwaukee School of Engineering to mark the program's 1,000th overall victory. BSU is one of only two NCAA Division I/II men's volleyball programs to eclipse the 1,000 win mark, joining UCLA.
During the 2002 season, Furnish helped guide BSU to MIVA regular season and tournament titles, plus helped lead the team to the NCAA Tournament, where it lost to No. 1 Pepperdine in the national semifinal match.
With Furnish's assistance, BSU has been ranked in the final USA Today/AVCA Coaches Top-15 Poll in 10 of the last 12 seasons. Overall, the Cardinals have been ranked in 144 of a possible 233 polls since Furnish joined the staff, including 35 Top-10 rankings.
The Cardinals have been ranked has high as sixth in the AVCA Coaches Poll with Furnish's help, including twice in 2003 and in the final March poll of the 2008 season.
Along with the team accolades, Furnish has helped guide six Cardinals to All-America honors. Paul Fasshauer was a 2002 AVCA All-America First Team selection, while Anders Nelson was selected to the 2011 AVCA All-America Second Team and 2011 Volleyball Magazine All-America Third Team, J.D. Gasparovic was placed on the 2009 Volleyball Magazine All-America Second Team, Patrick Durbin landed on the 2008 Volleyball Magazine All-America Second Team, Ian Peckler earned 2007 All-America Second Team status on both the AVCA and Volleyball Magazine lists and Keith Schunzel was a 2004 AVCA All-America Second Team honoree.
The 2007 season also saw Furnish help coach freshman Jeff Schmitz to the program's first MIVA Freshman of the Year honor. J.D. Gasparovic collected BSU's second-straight MIVA Freshman of the Year award in 2008 after leading the league and ranking sixth nationally with a 1.36 blocks-per-game average.
Overall, BSU's student-athletes have earned All-MIVA honors 43 times since Furnish joined the staff, including 20 first team selections, 21 second team honorees and two third team choices.
Academically, Justin Orr was the latest player to earn academic all-America accolades, when he was named to the 2008 CoSIDA At-Large Academic All-America Second Team. BSU's players have also earned numerous academic all-conference awards with Furnish's guidance, with seven players making the 2012 list.
The 2008 season also gave the Ball State team one of the most memorable weekends in program history, when the Cardinals topped UCLA on back-to-back nights at Worthen Arena. In addition to being the only team in program history to beat the Bruins twice, the matches drew some of the largest crowds to watch a men's volleyball match in the nation during the 2008 season, with an NCAA-best 3,572 fans at the March 1 sweep and the fourth-largest attendance of 3,429 for the Feb. 29 four-game victory.
Prior to returning to Ball State as an assistant, Furnish spent four years as the head coach of the St. Joseph's (Ind.) College women's volleyball team after spending the 1995 campaign as an assistant. From 1996-2000, he led the Lady Pumas with the highlight of his four-year career being the 1999 season.
In 1999, he guided the Lady Pumas to a 19-11 record and the school's second straight appearance in the Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament.
Furnish began his coaching career in 1990, when he became the head coach of the girls varsity team at Shenandoah High School. He held that position until becoming head coach of the boys club team at the school in 1994.
In addition to those positions, Furnish has gained coaching experience at the club and camp level. He began a two-year stint on the staff of the Munciana Volleyball Club in 1990 and later served as director of the Cool Volleyball Club in 1993 and 1994.
Furnish coached with the Reebok Vision Volleyball Club in 1995. He was also an instructor for the Ball State Volleyball Camps from 1989-91, the University of Wisconsin Volleyball Camps in 1995 and 1996 and the Epicenter Volleyball Camps in Milwaukee, Wis., in 1997.
As a collegiate student-athlete at Ball State, Furnish led the nation and totaled the then-second-highest hitting percentage in school history when he hit .430 during the 1989 season to help the Cardinals to an MIVA Championship and a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Tournament.
He earned the first of two straight All-MIVA First-Team selections the following season after helping BSU to a second straight league title and a third-place showing in the national tourney. Furnish ranked fifth nationally with a .383 hitting percentage and placed second on the Cardinals with 153 total blocks -- the then-fourth-highest single-season total in school history.
Despite missing much of the 1991 season with various ailments, Furnish was selected as BSU's Most Valuable Player after hitting a team-high .339 with a squad-best 4.70 kills per game.
Furnish currently ranks seventh in team history with a .378 hitting percentage. He ranks eighth in solo blocks (114), 10th in career kills-per-game average (3.19), 11th in matches with double-figure kills (44) and tied for 14th in matches with 20-or-more kills (6).
Furnish graduated from Ball State in 1991 with a bachelor of science degree in business education.
He and his wife, Ramey, have three sons, Max (13), Jackson (8) and Colin (3), and one daughter, Ava (1).