Few have had an impact on the sport, and more specifically the men's game, like IPFW Men's Head Coach Arnie Ball. Over the course of his 32 years coaching the Mastodons, Ball has put together a very impressive resume that includes over 500 career wins, six trips to the NCAA Final Four, six regular season MIVA Championships and rosters littered with All-Conference, All-American and U.S. Olympic team selections. His most successful campaign came in 2007 when IPFW finished as national runner-up, falling to UC Irvine in the championship match. That year he was later named both the AVCA Division I-II National Coach of the Year and the Asics/Volleyball Magazine Coach of the Year.
In total he has mentored 15 AVCA All-Americans, six MIVA Players of the Year and two Olympic athletes. He led his squad to fourth place finishes in 1992 and 1994 and third place finishes in 1991, 1996 and 2006.
However, the father of three has roamed other sidelines in his illustrious coaching career. After graduating from Ball State University where he was a top volleyball player, Ball took a job coaching Fort Wayne's Harding High School and won three Indiana Volleyball Coaches Association Championships. He joined IPFW in 1981 to coach both the men's and women's programs, leading the women to four Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) Championships. Ball ended his eight-year women coaching tenure with a record of 231-102.
While at IPFW he held numerous roles on the USA Volleyball coaching staff, including the prestigious honor of serving as a scout for the 2000 U.S. National Team. His final international role came in 2003 as the head coach of the U.S. Team in the World University Games, where his team defeated France in five sets to win a bronze medal.
Ball has always been a man of incredible integrity and passion for not only the sport of volleyball, but for the Fort Wayne community. In 2005, he was presented with the Hilliard Gates Achievement Award for his lifetime accomplishments and contributions to the place he calls home.
"He has been what a model of success should be," said Penn State Men's Head Coach Mark Pavlik. "He has affected his players in such a positive manner that players from all of his coaching generations return to honor him and his program when appropriate. Most importantly he has done this while never abdicating his role as a father and husband. He has taken his love of family and passed it along to everyone that has had the honor of being guided by him. He is everything a coach should be."