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Joel Walton
Position: Head Coach
Alma Mater: Ball State
Graduating Year: 1988
Phone: (765) 285-1744
Email: jwalton@bsu.edu
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Joel Walton
Courtesy: Ball State Athletics
Release: 12/05/2006

- Led Ball State to the 2002 MIVA regular season and tournament titles, as well as a berth into the NCAA Tournament.
- Named the 2001 MIVA Coach of the Year after guiding BSU to a 20-8 overall record.
- Named the 2013 MIVA Coach of the Year after helping the Cardinals to a 21-6 mark.
- Owns a 263-148 (.640) career record, including a 128-62 (.674) mark in MIVA action.
- Coached Anders Nelson, J.D. Gasparovic, Patrick Durbin, Ian Peckler, Keith Schunzel and Paul Fasshauer to All-America accolades.
- Guided his players to All-Conference honors 44 times.
- Helped Jeff Schmitz (2007) and J.D. Gasparovic (2008) claim MIVA Freshman of the Year.
- Led the program to 20-or-more wins in seven of his 15 seasons as head coach.
- Coached BSU to a No. 6 ranking in the USA Today/AVCA Coaches Poll in 2003 and 2008.
- Guided BSU to Top-15 rankings in the final poll in 11 of his 14 previous seasons.

   Joel Walton enters his 16th season as Ball State's head men's volleyball coach looking to guide the program to its 16th appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

   On Feb. 28, 2009, Walton earmed his 200th career victory when he led the Cardinals to a 3-2 (29-31, 30-27, 30-25, 23-30, 15-7) win over then-No. 14 Loyola. Four matches earlier, Walton led Ball State to a 3-0 (30-13, 30-25, 30-23) victory over the Milwaukee School of Engineering (Feb. 13, 2009) 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.

   In 2002, Walton coached the Cardinals to MIVA regular season and tournament titles, plus led the team to the NCAA Tournament, where it lost to No. 1 Pepperdine in the national semifinal match.

  During the 2003 season the Cardinals were ranked sixth in two-straight polls, while the 2008 squad was ranked sixth in the final March poll. The No. 6 rankings are the highest under Walton, and the program's best rankings since the 1995 final poll had the team fifth.

   Along with the team accolades, Walton has coached five All-Americans over the last 11 seasons, including 2002 AVCA All-America First Team selection Paul Fasshauer. Fasshauer earned the honor after posting an NCAA-best .536 hitting percentage during the 2002 season.

   In 2011, Anders Nelson was selected to both the AVCA All-America Second Team and the Volleyball Magazine All-America Third Team. Nelson finished the season ranked second in the league with a 1.30 blocks-per-set average and helped Ball State lead the nation with a 3.07 team blocks-per-set average.

   In 2009, J.D. Gasparovic was named to the Volleyball Magazine All-America Second Team, marking the third-straight season a BSU player picked up All-America honors. Gasparovic finished the season ranked fifth in the nation with a .465 attack percentage and ninth in the nation with a 1.39 blocks-per-game average.

   Patrick Durbin was named to the Volleyball Magazine All-America Second Team in 2008, marking the second-straight season a BSU player picked up All-America honors. Durbin led the league and ranked 11th in the nation with a 4.43 kills-per-game average his senior season. Ian Peckler earned All-America Second Team status on both the AVCA and Volleyball Magazine lists in 2007, after ranking sixth in the nation with a 2.65 digs-per-game average. In 2004, Keith Schunzel was named to the AVCA All-America Second Team as one of the nation's top setters.

   The 2007 season also saw Walton coach freshman Jeff Schmitz to the program's first MIVA Freshman of the Year honor. 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.

   In addition, Walton has guided his athletes to All-MIVA honors 44 times, including 20 first team selections, 22 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 under Walton, with seven 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.

   A former four-year letterwinner for the Cardinals, Walton became the third head coach in program history when he accepted the position in June of 1998. Walton had spent the previous eight seasons as an assistant coach under Don Shondell and helped led Ball State to three MIVA Championships and three NCAA Tournament appearances.

   Walton's primary responsibility during his eight seasons on Shondell's staff was recruiting coordinator. Over that period, he signed student-athletes who received All-America honors on eight occasions and All-MIVA recognition 13 times. Walton also had two recruits -- Eduardo Ferraz (1994) and Doug Market (1998) -- named to the Asics/Volleyball All-Freshman Team. In addition, two of his recruits - - Phil Eatherton and Greg Romano - - played for the U.S. National Team.

   BSU's assistant job was not the first coaching stint for Walton, who guided Munciana's 13-and-under boys team to second place at the 1986 Amateur Athletic Union Junior Olympics. One year later, he led the squad to a first-place finish. Walton also assistant coached at Muncie Burris High School for two seasons. In 1986, he helped lead the girls program to a state title. In 1987, he coached the junior varsity girls team to an undefeated season while working with the varsity team as an assistant coach.

   During his four-year playing career, Walton helped Ball State to two league titles and a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances. As a senior, he captained BSU and led the Cardinals in digs (285), while ranking second in kills (426). The dig total ranks seventh in school history, while the kill total is 19th.

   Walton held the BSU single-match record for digs until the 2006 season, scoring 25 in a 3-1 victory at Ohio State April 1, 1987. For his career, he ranks third on BSU's lists for digs-per-game average (2.20). He is eighth in digs (710), 11th in matches with double-figure digs (23), 11th in service aces-per-game average (0.22), tied for 12th in matches with double-figure kills (42) and 17th in kills (897). In all, his name can be found in BSU's record book in 27 of the 51 statistical categories.

   In 1986, Walton was named the Indiana AAU Player of the Year and was selected to compete in the U.S. Olympic Festival for a second straight year. He helped the West Team to third place.

   Joel and his wife, the former Jennifer Wright, are the parents of a daughter, Kaitlin (22), and a son, Bailey (18) . . . Kaitlin is entering her senior season on the Lincoln Memorial women's volleyball team in 2012. As a freshman, she earned recognition on the NCAA Division II All-Southeast Region Second Team after becoming the first freshman in program history to lead the team in kills. Kaitlin's LMU team has qualified to play in the NCAA Division II Volleyball tournament for all three seasons she has played.