Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco moved fast and actually moved everyone on staff up as he announced Saturday afternoon the following:
Volunteer coach Matt Mossberg was named to a full-time position, and director of baseball operations Rob Francis assumes the volunteer coach role. Pitching coach Carl Lafferty will also assume full duties as recruiting coordinator for the Rebels.
The titles of volunteer and full-time are NCAA labels. Here's what the coaches will actually be doing, for the most part.
Mossberg will be the hitting coach and will be assisted by Francis. Mossberg will continue to work with the outfielders. Francis will work with the infielders. Lafferty has been pitching coach and assistant recruiting coordinator and his role expands.
"I'm real excited about this," said Bianco, in his 10th season at Ole Miss. "These are new opportunities for these guys, and they are well deserved. They're great coaches and deserve these opportunities."
Bianco said simply moving coaches up isn't always going to be the case, but in this case it was a "no brainer."
"Carl is an excellent pitching coach and was born to be a recruiter," he said of his first UM team captain in 2001. "Carl is a great communicator and is excellent at building relationships. He's already done a terrific job as the assistant to Rob (Reinstetle).
"Matt understands what it's like to work here, to play here, and to he understands the league we play in," Bianco continued. "Rob (Francis) has been a great administrator and a guy that's been a huge asset for our program, especially last year during the construction of the stadium. He came here to be able to coach, and now the door is open for him to do that. All of them bring an abundance of energy and knowledge of the program."
Bianco said the operations director position will remain unfilled at the present time but applications will be taken at a later date and the post filled.
As for the two players who were dismissed from the team this week, freshmen Evan Frazar and Zach Lowery bring the total number of players available to 33. But add to that pitchers Jake Morgan and Jon Andy Scott who are out for the season with Tommy John surgeries and the number is down to 31.
The NCAA has recently reduced the number of total roster players to 35, and with players leaving or injuries, it always presents a numbers challenge. No players may be added in January in baseball like in tennis.
Bianco was very upbeat and said they will work with the players available.
"Everything is good, and it is what it is," said Bianco, who has led the Rebels to Super Regionals four of the past five seasons. "We're already looking forward to January."
The Rebels begin the season Feb. 19 with a weekend series against Louisiana-Monroe in Oxford.
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