Lance Rhodes, Missouri (MU photo)

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Southern Illinois Hires Missouri’s Rhodes As Head Coach

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Southern Illinois parted ways with long-time head coach Ken Henderson a few weeks ago, and after an extensive search, the Salukis have their new head coach in Missouri’s Lance Rhodes.

Rhodes, who will be one of the youngest head coaches in college baseball, did a strong job in his three seasons with the Missouri program. Rhodes spearheaded an impressive recruiting effort, helping the Tigers sign one of the nation’s Top 20 recruiting classes in 2018. Missouri most recently put together a solid campaign, finishing the 2018 season with a 34-22 overall record, while narrowly missing the NCAA tournament.

Rhodes served as Bieser’s pitching coach and recruiting coordinator during his tenure at Southeast Missouri State, helping the Redhawks earn two Ohio Valley Conference Pitcher of the Year honors over the span of a few seasons.

Southern Illinois’s coaching search comes to an end after the school courted several intriguing candidates. Michigan’s Nick Schnabel was once considered a candidate before he removed his name from consideration, while the Salukis had very strong interest in Indiana State’s Brian Smiley, another talented coach, as well.

With the addition of Rhodes, the Salukis look to turn the tide of the program sooner rather than later. In addition to finishing this past season with a 26-29 overall record and 5-16 mark in the Missouri Valley, the Salukis haven’t reached the NCAA tournament since 1990. Interestingly enough, SIU has some solid history, reaching the tourney 14 times and having an all-time postseason record of 27-20.

There are plenty of reasons to believe the Salukis can win with Rhodes. In addition to it being a good school with a solid footprint in the State of Illinois, SIU also has a quality facility after recently pumping $4.2 million into it. SIU also should benefit from being in a solid baseball conference with Indiana State, Dallas Baptist, Missouri State and Illinois State all having recent, strong campaigns.

A new era has begun in Carbondale.

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