Henderson is entering his third season as the head coach of the Salukis after guiding SIU to the championship game of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament last spring. The 2012 squad finished with a 31-28 record and remained in the race for the conference’s regular season championship until the final two weeks of the season. In addition, two players were taken in the MLB draft following the season. First-Team All-American Chris Serritella was drafted by the Phillies in the fourth round and left-handed pitcher Nathan Dorris went to the Cubs in the 17th round.
“Coach Henderson is building the program the right way,” said Director of Athletics Mario Moccia. “The team is enjoying success on the field and our student-athletes are experiencing unprecedented success in the classroom. We are looking forward to a bright and stable future for Saluki Baseball.”
Henderson is entering his 23rd season with SIU after joining the Salukis’ coaching staff in 1990. In 1993 he was promoted to associate head coach, a position he held until he was named the interim head coach for the 2011 season following the passing of head coach Dan Callahan. Henderson is the seventh coach in program history.
Henderson’s team posted a combined 3.229 GPA for the fall 2011 semester, which was the highest team GPA for the baseball team in 20 years. Of the 32 student-athletes on the roster that semester, 25 of them earned a 3.0 or higher for the semester.
“I take this as a vote of confidence for the program, for our entire staff and all of the players who have bought in to our vision and continue to work hard every day to see it through,” Henderson said. “I am very appreciative of Chancellor Rita Cheng, Mario, Chet Savage and all of our administrators for their tremendous support of Saluki Baseball.”
The program is also fundraising for a major renovation of Abe Martin Field, which will feature the installation of stadium lights along with a new playing surface and grandstand. Construction is scheduled to begin shortly after the 2013 season.
Last week, SIU inked 12 new players during the fall signing period. It is one of the program’s largest and most highly touted recruiting classes in recent history. The Salukis will open the 2013 season on Feb. 15 at UAB.