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By Gus Bode

The SIU athletic department announced Tuesday that Saluki baseball coach Dan Callahan will miss the team’s season-opening tournament from Feb. 20-22 to undergo a medical procedure.

Callahan, who is 390-390-1 with SIU, is entering his 15th season as the head baseball coach. He will be replaced on the bench for the Caravelle Resort Tournament in Myrtle Beach, S.C., by assistant coach Ken Henderson, who is slated to begin his 19th season in the Salukis’ dugout.

Callahan hopes to return to the team for its games in the Stetson University Bright House Invitational, which will be played Feb. 27 through March 1.


‘I have all the confidence in our coaching staff, and I feel our squad will respond positively in my absence,’ Callahan said in a written statement.

SIU finished with a 34-23 record last season, which pulled Callahan’s career record with the Salukis to the .500 mark. SIU has also posted only one losing record in the last seven seasons. During that span, the Salukis are 228-172-1.

The Salukis also took third place in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament last season, finishing their season with a 9-3 record in their final 12 games.

During his time at SIU, Callahan has not missed a game.

‘We look forward to a successful and speedy recovery for coach Callahan,’ athletic director Mario Moccia said in a written statement. ‘We’re excited to begin the 2009 campaign and are in capable hands with our assistant coaches for this season-opening tournament.’