SIU Department Name | Page Title

siu logo siupress logo

SIU logo


Main Content Area

Southern Illinois Salukis Football

Southern Illinois Salukis Football

Add to Cart

Dan Verdun, with a foreword by Jerry Kill


240 pages, 8.25 x 9.25, 76 illustrations


Additional Materials

About the Book

Southern Illinois Salukis Football, the first book to focus solely on the program and its history at Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC), details the organization’s greatest moments, from its origins around the beginning of the twentieth century through the extraordinary leadership of head coaches William McAndrew, Rey Dempsey, and Jerry Kill, to the present-day team and its coach, local hero Nick Hill. Dan Verdun draws on more than one hundred interviews with coaches, players, sports historians, and sports reporters, as well as newspaper and magazine archives and other sources, to give readers an in-depth look at Saluki players, coaches, and teams from all eras.

Beginning with an exploration of the earliest days of football at Southern Illinois Normal University—as it was then called—including the first official team in 1913 under the school’s first athletic director and the years leading up to World War II, the book covers the history of the Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC), referencing personal interviews with key players and coaches of the IIAC from the late 1940s through the disbanding of the conference in 1970. Chapters about the 1950s and subsequent decades tell of the program’s history through biographical sketches of coaches as well as legendary players such as Marion Rushing, Carver Shannon, Houston Antwine, and Jim Hart. These brief tales reveal where the players came from, why they chose SIUC, what they accomplished while wearing the maroon and white, and how they fared after college. Additional chapters cover recruiting, transfers, rivals, venues, and celebrated supporters such as Mike Reis, the “Voice of the Salukis.” A final chapter offers media analysis of the fans’ central debate: which historical Saluki team was the greatest? Appendixes include “All-Century Team,” “Retired SIU Jersey Numbers,” and “Saluki Hall of Fame” and list SIU players in the NFL, the CFL, the USFL, and the Arena Football League.
Illustrated with approximately seventy-five color and black-and-white photos of players and coaches, games, and other subjects, Southern Illinois Salukis Football offers readers a fresh, colorful perspective of the SIUC football program.


Dan Verdun grew up in Odell, Illinois, and holds degrees from Eastern Illinois University and Northern Illinois University. He is the author of books on Northern Illinois, Eastern Illinois, and Illinois State football. Currently, he teaches in Naperville, Illinois, where he lives with his wife Nancy, son Tommy, and daughter Lauren. 


“Saluki fans will enjoy Dan’s work. He has relentlessly and tirelessly pursued the history of Saluki football. The outcome of that work is special.”—Mike Reis, Voice of the Salukis (1978–present)

“Dan Verdun’s new book about Saluki football will take every fan anywhere they want to go—from the four nicknames Southern Illinois University students didn’t use in the 1950s; to Marion Rushing, Carl Mauck, Rick Johnson, and Jerry Kill; to the two local high school teams who played during the 1943 Homecoming game; and everywhere in between. Southern Illinois Salukis Football is an immersing story about one of the greatest comebacks in college football history.”—Todd Hefferman, award-winning writer, Southern Illinoisan

“Interesting and informative, Dan Verdun’s Southern Illinois Salukis Football provides readers with much personal information about many SIU football standouts. . . . It’s a keeper.”—Fred Huff, author of Saluki Sports History: 100 Years of Facts and Highlights