Topics: Burris, Athletics

April 24, 2020

Jim Craig, volleyball coach for Burris Laboratory School

Jim Craig will serve as the new volleyball coach for Burris Laboratory School.

Veteran coach Jim Craig will take over leadership of the four-time national championship Burris Laboratory School high school girls'volleyball program, school officials announced Friday.

Craig spent last season as an assistant at Burris to legendary coach Steve Shondell, who came out of retirement in 2019 on a short-term basis to oversee the program last season.

“I believe many of the girls share my sense of direction and commitment,” Craig said. “I know their time with Steve last season was invaluable to their growth as players as was my experience in coaching.”

Craig was head volleyball coach at Wapahani High School from 1977 to 1994, winning 13 sectional championships, six regional championships and appearing in the state “Elite 8” twice. He also led Wapahani to 11 Delaware County championships, and 13 of his players were named to all-state teams.

Craig was named the 1994 Indiana Coach of the Year and the 1995 Indiana all-star game coach. In 1994, he was inducted into the Delaware County Athletic Hall of Fame.

Chad Wlodarek, Burris’ athletic director, said the volleyball program will reap the benefits Craig’s four decades of experience as a superintendent, principal, teacher and coach in Indiana K-12 programs.

“We are very fortunate to have someone of his pedigree serve as the leader of our program,” Wlodarek said. “I love Jim’s philosophy of teaching the fundamentals at a fast pace but also trying to maximize his time with the athletes while developing them into the best person they can be, not just the best athlete.”

Craig began his teaching career at Culver Military Academy in 1971-72 and then taught at Alexandria-Monroe Schools (1972-74), and Liberty-Perry Schools (1974-75). He then moved into administration, working at Liberty-Perry in several roles, including assistant principal, athletic director, high school principal and superintendent (1981-2008). He then served superintendent at Southern Wells Schools (2008-16).

Craig graduated from Marion High School in 1967. He then attended Ball State, earning his bachelor’s degree in music in 1971, a master’s in secondary education in 1979 and a doctorate in education in 1999.