Ole Miss named Mike Bianco head coach of the Rebel baseball program on June 7, 2000. Since then, Bianco has become the winningest coach in program history and one of the top coaches in Southeastern Conference history while establishing Ole Miss as one of the premier programs in college baseball. In today’s age of short coaching tenures, Bianco is the longest tenured coach in the SEC across all sports.
In this episode of the Secrets to Winning, I sat down with a coach that had a tremendous impact on my career as a player and on my life. We talk about taking a program that was at the bottom of the SEC and turning it into a perennial power and the challenges that come with that. We also dive in to how he was able to grow a fanbase from nothing to being in the top 5 in college baseball in attendance every year. I think what is most intriguing is that Ole Miss is known as a “baseball school” because of what Mike Bianco has built in Oxford.
One thing about our system is that it’s ever-changing and evolving. You have your core beliefs of how you teach hitting or pitching, but you are always trying to be innovative and stay ahead of the curve.
Throughout our conversation, you will hear Mike speak about several important points as it pertains to building and maintaining a successful program or organization. You are going to get tremendous information in the following areas:
If you are looking for ways to build a program with a solid foundation, develop and enhance your coaching philosophy, and learn how to communicate with and reach the emerging generation, then you will definitely want to listen to this podcast!
01:30 – Taking over an SEC program at age 33
04:00 – Having a vision of building a program and taking it to the next level
08:30 – Building a belief system in your program so that players think they can win right away
11:20 – The tipping point and where the program turned the corner
12:40 – Investing in the mental game and the holistic development of players
17:00 – How Mike’s process and coaching philosophy has evolved with the emerging generation of players
18:20 – Utilizing technology to communicate with and reach young people
20:00 – How do you develop relationships while still keeping the coach/player dynamic?
22:30 – The biggest positive change in college baseball in Mike’s 20 years as head coach
26:00 – Mike’s career as a catcher at LSU and catching the best college pitching staff of all time
29:30 – How Mike ended up at LSU at the start of the LSU Baseball dynasty
31:50 – As a coach, teaching the WHY is just as important as teaching the HOW.
35:00 – After starting out in the corporate world, what led to Mike to turn to coaching?
36:50 – The story of how Mike made a significant impact on my life
To be able to communicate with players, you have to know how they learn best. They’re used to learning on a screen (phone, computer, TV). Part of coaching is understanding that.