'It's so surreal': Mike Bianco breaks down nonstop 48 hours after College World Series win

·3 min read

OXFORD — In a span of 48 hours, Ole Miss baseball coach Mike Bianco went from championship hopeful to College World Series champion. Only after that did the busiest 48 hours of Bianco's life begin.

Bianco and his team hosted Oxford's first College World Series championship parade Wednesday, celebrating the Rebels' 2-0 sweep of Oklahoma to bring back Ole Miss' first baseball championship. Thousands of fans flooded the streets of Oxford and the concourses of Swayze Field, chanting and cheering along with their favorite players and coaches as they rode buses through town and brought the championship trophy onto the diamond.

The championship was an apex of Bianco's 22 years in Oxford. The parade was a culmination of the most indescribable two days of his life.

"The first night for me at least, it's so surreal," Bianco said. "It almost is like a dream. It's almost foggy to think back of that. I don't know if it's just the emotional rush, the exhaustion, the bigness. I don't know. You remember it, but I'm probably going to remember this a lot clearer."

After winning the championship Sunday night, Bianco says he went back to the team hotel and signed autographs and took photos for about an hour and a half. Afterwards he went to his hotel room with his wife, his dad, his brother and his sister-in-law to share subs and wine.

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From there, the blur began. Ole Miss fans kept surprising Bianco.

"I knew Rebel Nation would show up in Omaha. I never doubted it. But I didn't know we'd have 20-plus thousand," Bianco said. "Then you get back on Monday and there's that many people in The Grove. Walk of Champions. That many people at the Tupelo Airport. I got nervous during the parade. I said, 'Oh my God, there's 25,000 people here, there's going to be nobody in the stadium.' Then you get to the stadium and it's packed. I don't know where they all come from."

Bianco tried to prepare a speech for the celebration at Swayze, but by the time it was his turn to talk, the speech went out the window. He admits he babbled a little and probably talked a little too much, but he used his time to thank his players, his assistant coaches, his support staff and the fans.

He talked about how special the moment was and gave credit to the players for making the championship a reality.

Bianco has to turn around and head to North Carolina on Wednesday night to begin his tenure as Team USA collegiate national coach. He's bringing Rebels players Jacob Gonzalez, Hunter Elliott and Mason Nichols with him.

He admits it's been a busy and almost overbearing week, but he's made it through and he's appreciative of the ride.

"It's just been overwhelming in a good way, and very touching to see how much it meant to (the fans)," Bianco said.

Contact Nick Suss at 601-408-2674 or nsuss@gannett.com. Follow @nicksuss on Twitter.

This article originally appeared on Mississippi Clarion Ledger: Ole Miss baseball's Mike Bianco describes 'foggy' feeling after CWS