The only Bianco in Baton Rouge next baseball season will likely be LSU center fielder/second baseman Drew Bianco if he returns for his senior season.
Mike Bianco, Drew’s dad and Ole Miss head baseball coach for the last 21 seasons, agreed to a four-year contract extension Sunday night effectively removing himself as a candidate for the LSU head coach vacancy.
Bianco, 54, a former LSU catcher under Skip Bertman, interviewed for the Tigers’ job last week but wasn’t offered the job.
Bianco is the winningest coach in Ole Miss history. He’s also the third-winningest coach in SEC history behind Mississippi State’s Ron Polk and Bertman. Ole Miss has appeared in 17 NCAA tournaments in Bianco’s but is 1-6 in NCAA Super Regionals.
“Mike Bianco is our head coach, and with his contract extended to the maximum four years, we look forward to seeing him lead Ole Miss to new heights,” Ole Miss athletics director Keith Carter said in a statement. “We understand that the consistent success of our program will generate interest from other schools, and with any coach, there can be personal factors that come into play. Mike and I have been in constant contact and have been able to privately sort fact from fiction.
“Our program is poised to take the next step toward success in Omaha, and we believe Coach Bianco is the right person to guide us there.”
Ole Miss’ 2021 season ended with a game three loss at Arizona in a Super Regional.
“Ole Miss is home for me and my family, and I am committed to bringing championships to Oxford,” Bianco said in a statement. “I’m proud of what we have accomplished over the past 21 years, and I look forward to building on that foundation and achieving new levels of success. I want to thank Rebel Nation for their unmatched support, year in and year out, and how they help make Swayze Field the greatest experience in baseball.”
LSU athletic director Scott Woodward has turned his search toward coaches in the College World Series, such as Virginia’s Brian O’Connor, Vanderbilt’s Tim Corbin, Mississippi State’s Chris Lemonis, Arizona’s Jay Johnson, and Tennessee’s Tony Vitello.
O’Connor, 50, and Corbin, 59, have five College World Series appearances each with O’Connor winning one national championship in 18 seasons at Virginia and Corbin two national titles in 19 seasons at Vanderbilt.
The other three coaches – Lemonis, Johnson and Vitello – are all in their 40s and have been at their respective schools six seasons or fewer.