Scouts to honor UM’s Bianco, MSU’s Lemonis with citizen awards at Jan. 12 reception

Published 2:10 pm Wednesday, January 3, 2024

The Natchez Trace Council of the Boy Scouts of America will jointly honor University of Mississippi Head Baseball Coach Mike Bianco and Mississippi State University Head Baseball Coach Chris Lemonis as winners of the Distinguished Citizen Award from the council at a reception and dinner at the Cadence Conference Center on Jan. 16 at 6 p.m.

For tickets or information, contact Rick Wise at (662) 842-2871 or (662) 260-2565 or or visit Individual tickets begin at $250 for two and there are table sponsorship opportunities available.

“These outstanding coaches brought great honor to Mississippi and to the institutions they represent,” said National Trace Council President Sid Salter of Starkville. “Mike Bianco and Chris Lemonis are also extremely outstanding men and role models for youth [who] flourish in scouting. This is an opportunity to recognize these fine men and support scouting in our communities from the Tennessee line to the Golden Triangle.”


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The veteran Southeastern Conference coaches led their respective teams to NCAA National Championships in baseball by winning the College World Series in Omaha, Neb., in 2021 (MSU) and 2022 (Ole Miss). Both are former National Coach of the Year winners.

The Distinguished Citizen Award is presented to individual community leaders who provide outstanding civic service to the community. Those who receive the award are not necessarily scouting volunteers, but rather individuals who personify what scouting stands for – good citizenship, outstanding dedication to serving others and living their lives by the principles of scouting. The Natchez Trace Council serves 22 Northeast Mississippi counties including the Ole Miss and MSU campuses.

Bianco (Joshua McCoy/Ole Miss Athletics)

Former Distinguished Citizen winners include U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker; author and producer Sam Haskell; former BancorpSouth President Aubrey Patterson; acclaimed author John Grisham; MSU President Mark Keenum; Ole Miss football great Archie Manning; former governors William Winter and Haley Barbour; former U.S. senators Trent Lott and the late Thad Cochran; former council presidents Felix Black, Henry Brevard, Rob Leake, Bud McCarty, Jack Reed Sr. and J.C. Whitehead; and MSU broadcaster Jack Cristil.