By Adam Brown
Ole Miss athletics is headed into an exciting fall season after reaching new heights this summer with a national championship in baseball.
The Rebels look to continue to excel in the athletic department. Vice Chancellor of Intercollegiate Athletics Keith Carter sat down with HottyToddy.com and discussed recent athletic achievements.
“I think the way we did it this year was what made it special, along with the pre-season hype around the team and getting to number one in the country,” Carter said.
The 2022 baseball team achieved the pinnacle of college baseball after a 7-14 mark in the middle of SEC play. The team rebounded to deliver the first national championship in Ole Miss baseball program history.
It wasn’t easy. The Rebels faced injuries and had to figure out how to get out of a rough patch. In April, Kevin Graham went out and tried to figure out the rotation.
“When Kevin got back and figured out the rotation, we knew the talent was there,” Carter said. “We knew the leadership as they’re with (Tim) Elko and all those guys and they figured it out.”
Carter added that the team was inspiring because players and coaches found a way to overcome tremendous adversity by showing up at work every day.
“I think baseball more than any other sport is about getting hot and playing well at the right time,” Carter said. “(Dylan) DeLucia and (Hunter) Elliott were fantastic on the mound. Coach Bianco pulled all the right strings down the stretch and managed the club in such a great way that the offense showed up.”
On Memorial Day, the Rebels learned they were headed to Omaha with new life on the season.
“Who knew we were going to win a national championship,” Carter said. “I knew if we got in the tournament that we’d have a chance to make a deep run. Super happy for coach B, his staff, players, and all of Rebel Nation.”
The excitement for Ole Miss fans to travel to Omaha for a chance for the Rebels to win a championship couldn’t be missed. Carter added that he learned about all kinds of stories of how people made the trip to the College World Series.
“We’re going to get in our car, we don’t have tickets, we don’t have a hotel room, but we’re going to Omaha,” Carter said about stories he heard. “[They said] We’re not going to miss this.”
To cheer on the Rebels, Ole Miss brought 20,000 fans to witness history being made.
“Not only did we have Rebel fans that came from Mississippi and around the country, but we had those local fans that embraced our team and our story as well,” he said. “I thought that was neat.”
Continuing a tradition of excellence, the athletic department wants to see student-athletes arrive on campus and do well in the classroom and on the field of competition.
“We want our student-athletes to come in and receive a great education and receive a degree that is meaningful to them,” Carter said. “While they’re here we want to win. We want to win a lot.”
Before baseball claimed its national championship, two other sports claimed national titles in the last 13 months: Women’s Golf and All-Girl Cheerleading squad.
“When golf made that run last spring it opened many eyes to a lot of our other sports, that we can do this at Ole Miss,” Carter said. “This is the second year in a row of national championships. That is our mindset now we want to go out in every sport that we play and compete at a very high level.”