TUPELO • Ole Miss athletics director Keith Carter met with baseball coach Mike Bianco Wednesday morning.
The meeting, however, did not include the topic that has been discussed for several days in social media and on radio talk shows:
Will the Rebels’ coach of 21 years leave to become the head coach at his alma mater, LSU?
Media reports from Baton Rouge surfaced last week stating that Bianco was among a handful of candidates to replace Tigers coach Paul Mainieri, who has just retired.
Earlier this week further reporting from Louisiana-based media said the LSU search had narrowed to two men, Bianco and East Carolina coach Cliff Godwin, a former assistant coach for both Bianco at Ole Miss and Mainieri at LSU and Notre Dame.
“This was a typical end of the year wrap-up meeting. We talked about this year. We talked about things we did well, things we could do better. We talked about the future,” said Carter from a Rebel Road Trip stop at the BancorpSouth Arena and Conference Center. “We talked a little bit about his future and what that looks like, and we’re going to continue those conversations over the next few days.”
Bianco did not indicate to Carter that there has been any discussion with LSU.
“He did not,” Carter said.
Carter did challenge one report that said Bianco has been on the LSU campus to interview. He said Bianco was in Oxford leading player exit interviews and hosting a recruit prior to their Wednesday morning meeting.
“All I know is Mike was in Oxford doing player exit interviews all day. He had a recruit in town, and today he met with me at 9 o’clock. I don’t think that leaves much time for him to be in Baton Rouge,” Carter said. “I just think you’ve got to be really careful about what you’re believing. There’s a lot of bad information out there right now.”
Bianco just completed his 21st season at Ole Miss with the Rebels finishing 45-22 after a 16-3 loss to Arizona in Game 3 of the Tucson Super Regional.
In seven super regional appearances Bianco had led Ole Miss into the College World Series once.
Bianco is 812-462-1 at Ole Miss.
The just-completed season included a lengthy list of injuries the most damaging being a month without slugger Tim Elko and the absence of right-handed starting pitcher Gunnar Hoglund, a project first-round draft pick, for the final month of the season.
“If you look at some of the things we dealt with this year it was one of the best jobs he’s done,” Carter said. “If you go to Arizona, and you’ve got Gunnar Hoglund you have a really good chance of winning that series. Overall winning 45 games with the adversity we had it was a pretty darn good year.”