Ole Miss athletics director Ross Bjork says he’ll meet with baseball coach Mike Bianco “as soon as possible” after the end of the season to discuss Bianco’s contract.
Bianco is nearing the end of his 14th season with the Rebels. He coached this season with a two-year contract, just as he did in 2013.
Following the end of last season Bjork added one year to Bianco’s contract – state law allows a maximum of four – but did not change monetary terms.
“We want to keep playing as long as possible. We’ll find time as soon as possible whenever we’re done playing, and we hope that to be a long time into June. We’ll deal with that at the right time,” said Bjork, who is attending the SEC spring meetings in Destin.
Bianco makes $515,000 a year from Ole Miss. As the Rebels finished No. 1 in the SEC West and are set to host the Oxford Regional beginning tomorrow, several financial incentives to his contract have already triggered.
The deal calls for Bianco to get $5,000 for winning the SEC West, $15,000 for hosting a regional and $7,500 if his team record an APR (Academic Progress Rate) score of at least 950.
That’s $27,500, and more incentives come into play for a super regional – $10,000 away or $20,000 at home – a CWS berth ($15,000) or CWS championship ($50,000).
Bjork says Bianco liked the potential of this team from their earliest discussions.
“I think Mike has done a great job with our program. Looking back at last summer and the conversation I had with Mike, he really set this up. He said, ‘Hey, I really like the guys coming in, our young guys, our veteran players in Sikes Orvis, Will Allen, Austin Anderson, Auston Bousfield. We think those guys are ready to take that next step,” he said. “They had a great off-season with our new strength coach, Ben Fleming. Mike and our staff, they’ve all done a great job. We’re still playing. What we talked about last year, we’ve got to be back in the hosting conversation. We got in that conversation. We’re the 11th seed, we’re hosting. Now we just need to finish strong.”
Bianco is 550-320-1 at Ole Miss and is responsible for building the “brand” that Ole Miss baseball has become, Bjork said.
“We’ll have those discussions at the end of the season with Mike, but he’s done a great job, and he’s done a great job over 14 years of developing the Ole Miss baseball brand to what it is, where it’s a nationally respected, feared program. The credit goes to Mike in building that. You look at our stadium expansion, our crowd support, our right field, our left field … all that’s happened while Mike’s been the head coach. That means a lot.”