The Runway Decade

That Championship Feeling

On today's episode of the "The Runway Decade Podcast," hosts Bill Bush and Pete Bush, advisors at Horizon Financial Group talk to two-time NCAA baseball coach of the year Mike Bianco. He is the head coach Ole Miss, the reigning College World Series Champs, and reached the pinnacle of his sport and career by winning the national championship.

Episode Highlights
  • 2:47: Mike is fortunate to do what he does as a baseball coach and works with young people in intercollegiate athletics, and when you go to work, there are thousands of people watching you what you do.
  • 3:30: Mike played at LSU, went to the College World Series as a player and then was an assistant for the legendary Skip Bertman for five years and was fortunate enough to go to the World Series four times as an assistant coach and won three national championships.
  • 4:42:  At Ole Miss Mike says he’s got a great fan base. They were in the top five in national attendance for the last 15-16 years or so and have been in the top two or three along with LSU and some other of our counterparts in the Southeastern Conference.
  • 8:08: Mike knew LSU had a great coach and they played in Southeastern Conference, and he got an opportunity visit there and fell in love with the place and great campus and a great coaching staff and he just wanted to play college baseball.
  • 9:50: Back in the days, you could go to spring training game and lean over the dugout and hand your ball and Tony Perez would grab it, sign it, hand it back to you but you can't do that anymore. But that was a cool time, says Mike.
  • 12:42: Mike says it was very different to play under coach Bertman. He told them that they were getting a PhD, Harvard Education in baseball and they laughed when they were at that age, but it was true.
  • 15:31: In year 1989, we didn't play well all year long either but it's interesting how teams end up being in the World Series and all kind of different paths, says Pete.
  • 16:50 Mike beats Auburn on the road to remain number 1 and so they were number one for two weeks in a row and then they came home and got beat up by Tennessee and that set us into a tailspin for about six weeks where they didn't play well for a few weeks and lost some series they probably shouldn't have.
  • 20:11: Mike explains how it is terrific for a team to hear from a guy that has worn the uniform, a guy that has won a national championship and now is a successful businessman.
  • 22:39: Mike explains how fortunate he was that he started drawing in the  people who bought into this vision of baseball and they started having success and they needed to build seats.
  • 28:01: If someone is good enough to play sport, they are good enough to play anywhere.
  • 30:48: Keeping championship and all that aside, Mike feels super blessed in so many ways to be able to do and work and do something that he loves to do and has done it basically his whole life because not so many people get to do that.
  • 32.:31: Mike and his wife were putting $50 away in a retirement plan, so thankfully that they started it then when they were trying to play catch up because in your mid 50s and you're so thankful that you were disciplined and that you did it earlier.
  • 35:30: The first time on the ESPN coverage Bill saw that he was hugging one of the players and the second shot of Mike is hugging one of the Oklahoma guys and really struck him that sportsmanship is certainly a pillar of what you preach.
  • 43:37: Every kid or every person of our age remembers sitting and watching, like Hill Street Blues or whatever that show was with your family and that was really a cool time.
  • 45.13: If you are playing the sport, you're supposed to have fun. You are supposed to try to succeed. Not sit there and scared and hope and have moms clap that you have a good eye, says Mike.


Three Key Points
  1. Mike was one of the fortunate folks who has carved out a career in this great sport of baseball. He takes the listeners back to where it all began.
  2. Mike talks about his reconnect with Luis Garcia, one of their old 89 teammate and going down to Miami and running into him again because the guys that they had played with never going to separate from each other.
  3. As per Mike you got to find what works for you, whatever that is or whatever routine that is because everything is about catching your routine.

Tweetable Quotes
  • "In any profession, if you’re fortunate enough to reach the pinnacle at least at some point,  it's just what you dream about." – Mike
  • "Somewhere between t-ball and high school baseball, you lose four and a half million baseball players." - Mike
  • "When you are in danger you don't need anybody else to lose your games. Just try to win your games." – Mike
  • "You are having a top-notch facility at front stage and the backstage part and with that the improvements you guys have made over the years are phenomenal." – Bill
  • "I always talk about Coach Bertman, but the best thing that happened to me in my life that I met Cammy, my wife. Cammy was a trainer at LSU." - Mike
  • "I think I can handle, and I think my coaching staff could handle but I don't think I wanted my son to have to handle that he is a coach's son." - Mike
  • "I work with the 18- to 22-year-old kids and that's one of the things that I think kind of keeps you young, keeps you mobile, and keeps you moving around." - Mike
  • "I do like emotion. I love the guys that play with positive emotion because what I do is more than just coach baseball. I teach life lessons." - Mike


Resources Mentioned

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