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SIU names Ken Henderson as Interim Head Coach

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Southern Illinois associate head baseball coach Ken Henderson was named the interim head coach for the 2011 season, Director of Athletics Mario Moccia announced Tuesday.

Henderson, 50, succeeds his longtime friend Dan Callahan, who passed away on Nov. 15. For Henderson, the 2011 season marks his 21st year working with the Saluki baseball program.

“I’m honored and humbled to be asked to lead the Saluki baseball program,” Henderson said. “I’m looking forward to continue working with the team we have this year, as they have a lot of talent and thus far have done everything we have asked of them.”

A veteran Division I baseball coach of over 26 years, Henderson has once before served as interim head coach for the Salukis. He was appointed with that title midway through the 1994 season and led the team to a 12-8 record under his direction. Henderson guided Southern to a winning season after the club started the year off winning just 15 of its first 33 games.

In his 26 years at the Division I level, which included three-year stints at Kansas State (1984-86) and Oral Roberts (1987-89), Henderson has helped guide his teams to a 744-711-2 record.

31 of his players that he has coached at Southern Illinois have gone on to be drafted. Included in that list is 2009 World Series Champion Jerry Hairston, Jr. (with the New York Yankees), Jason Frasor (currently with the Toronto Blue Jays) and P.J. Finigan, now an assistant coach with Henderson at SIU.

Henderson was on Gary Vaught’s 1987 Oral Roberts staff that went 49-14 and finished as runner-up at the NCAA West I Regional.

The Salukis return 14 letterwinners and five starters, including First-Team All-MVC first baseball Chris Serritella, from the 2010 team that tied for third in the conference.

Southern Illinois opens up the 2011 season on Feb. 18, when the Salukis play at Louisiana Tech in part of their season-opening tournament in Ruston, La.

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