Mike Bianco has been the head coach of Ole Miss baseball since June 7, 2000, and on Tuesday, he reached an enormous milestone in the wins column for his SEC career.
With the Rebels bashing Memphis in a 7-2 midweek win on the road, Bianco recorded his 871st win as the head coach at Ole Miss. This was significant as it made him the second-winningest all-time coach in SEC history, passing his former coach and mentor Skip Bertman of LSU.
There is still one more coach ahead of him, Ron Polk, who compiled 1,218 wins at Mississippi State and Georgia, so here’s to, um, like 10 more years of Bianco ball for the all-time record? Maybe, maybe not. Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn sits at 818 wins with the Hogs though he is seven years older.
This is a huge moment for Bianco though and for Ole Miss honestly as well. Last season, the Rebels were on the ropes but rallied for one of the greatest college baseball comebacks in postseason history. Ole Miss won the College World Series in 2022 after being named as one of the last teams in the NCAA tournament if I remember correctly.
But in all honesty, a lot of fans were not pleased with Bianco headed into the postseason, and it likely took a deep run last year to secure his future in Oxford. Now there will likely be at least a few more seasons with the venerable “number five” and surely many more wins to come.
It’s important to also note most of Ole Miss baseball’s success has come due to the last 23 years of work by Bianco and his staffs. I have talked to alumni from the 90’s who said they would go to right field with coolers more to get some sun and a buzz while never worrying about who was playing or what the outcome was. While those vibes still exist within the student section, the vast majority of fans have become accustomed to coming to Swayze to watch one of the best baseball programs in the country year-in and year-out.
Hats off to Bianco, it’s a massive accomplishment. Here’s to future win 1,219 though and knocking off Ron Polk, cheers!