OXFORD • College baseball’s national coach of the year – according to one media outlet – went through the abbreviated 2020 season with a questionable contract status.
That won’t be the case for Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco for the 2021 season.
Bianco and athletics director Keith Carter have been close for weeks on finalizing an extension that now carries Bianco to the full four years allowed by state law.
Carter was interim athletics director in the summer of 2019 when he chose not to extend Bianco’s incentive-laden contract following the Rebels’ super regional loss at Arkansas.
Carter at that time praised Bianco for his overall success but wanted to see how the program could work through postseason shortcomings.
Financial details on the extension were not immediately released. Bianco’s previous contract paid roughly $1.1 million annually.
“This new contract is beneficial for Ole Miss and Mike, and there were productive negotiations to reach a deal that works for both sides,” Carter said in a news release. “I look forward to Mike’s continued leadership in our program and to fully supporting him as we try to bring a national championship to Oxford.”
The Rebels were picked sixth in the SEC West by conference coaches in the 2020 preseason poll.
Ole Miss, though, won 16-straight games after an Opening Day loss to No. 1 Louisville.
The Rebels were ranked No. 8 in the final D1Baseball.com Top 25.
Bianco was named coach of the year by College Baseball Newspaper, the first Ole Miss coach to earn such honors on the national level.
Bianco is 867-511-1 overall and 767-440-1 in 20 seasons at Ole Miss.
“We’ve missed playing in front of the best fans in America, but we know the health and safety of everyone is more important than baseball,” Bianco said in the release.
“I look forward to getting back on the field with our guys at the appropriate time and building a 2021 team that will make Rebel Nation proud.”