Saluki Hall of Fame football coach named 2023 homecoming grand marshal

CARBONDALE, Ill. (KFVS) - A former Saluki head football coach will be the grand marshal for Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s 2023 homecoming.

Rey Dempsey’s career included coaching for 28 years at various levels, including leading the 1983 Salukis to the NCAA Division 1-AA National Championship title, the first national title for the Dawgs.

According to the university, he earned the Division I-AA Coach of the Year honors that year as well.

Dempsey, 87, was the university’s 14th head football coach and has a 54-37 record, coaching from 1976 to 1983 at SIU. He is a 1996 Saluki Hall of Fame inductee.

The championship team is invited to join Dempsey in being recognized during the homecoming parade and game.

The homecoming parade will travel through the streets of Carbondale, ending on campus. It starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday, October 21.

Tailgating will follow from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saluki Row.

The Salukis will take on South Dakota State at 2 p.m. in Saluki Stadium.

Amber Ruch

Amber has worked at KFVS for eight years.