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‘I expect to be back’: Ole Miss skipper Bianco’s future in question

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A walk off two-run home run from Mississippi State centerfielder Connor Hujsak punctuated a 2-1 win for the Bulldogs over Ole Miss in round one of the SEC Tournament Tuesday night. The long ball came with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning and spelled a sour end to a disappointing season for the 12-seeded Rebels.

Mike Bianco’s club finished 27-29 in 2024 with an 11-19 record in SEC play. Since winning the national championship in 2022, Ole Miss has gone 52-58 and 17-43 in league action during that span.

Long before the early exit in Hoover, the question of whether the end was near for Bianco was a contentious topic. A faction of the fanbase believes that the veteran skipper deserves a chance to return the program to success. Others are calling for a change.

When asked if he thought he would return as the head coach by David Eckert of The Clarion Ledger, Bianco expressed confidence that he would still hold the reins come 2025.

“You’ll have to ask my boss,” he said. “But I expect to be back.”

The two years following the title run have been the worst under Bianco – marking the first time in his 24-year tenure that the Rebels have missed the NCAA Tournament in back-to-back seasons.

“We don’t make it the last couple years, but I think this year we’re a couple wins away,” the head coach continued. “We have to be better and we will be. We’ve always responded and we will again.”

A contract extension and salary raise after the 2022 national title made Bianco the second-highest paid coach in college baseball at $1.625 million, with two years still remaining on the contract.

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