CARBONDALE (WSIL) — SIU Athletics held its annual Saluki Hall of Fame Induction ceremony at the Banterra Center as eight former student-athletes joined the ranks as some of the best Salukis of all time.
This year’s inductees include catcher Tim Kratochvile, kicker Craig Coffin, wrestler Deke Edwards, golfer Kelly Gerlach Hovland, volleyball’s Deb Heyne Gross, as well as former baseball standout Jake Alley, football rushing great Karlton Carpenter, and a former men’s basketball coach and player Chris Lowery.
Lowery helped lead the Salukis to seven NCAA tournaments, including three as head coach from 2005 to 2012.
Lowery was fired after the 2012 season but he says he holds no grudges against the place where his career took off, "It feels great because I love my school and that’s the one misconception that just because you get fired doesn’t mean that you don’t love where you played, and you love where you grew up. This is my family. It was an unfortunate situation when I wasn’t the coach anymore but this place is me. I’m a part of this place and you can’t take that away."
The new Saluki Hall of Famers will be recognized during the football team’s Homecoming game Saturday against Youngstown State. Kickoff is at 2 p.m.