Louisville announced Friday afternoon that it has hired former FIU assistant coach Mike Balado as an assistant coach, filling the vacancy left when Kareem Richardson accepted the head coaching position at UMKC.
Balado was originally headed north to Minnesota with new head coach Richard Pitino and even joined the staff in Minneapolis. But he resigned from the position last week, opening the door for him to join Rick Pitino’s staff at Louisville.
Balado has never worked for the elder Pitino but obviously there is some familiarity given the connection noted above.
“Mike brings a wealth of experience in both the recruiting world and in coaching,” said Pitino in a statement released by the school. “An important factor in adding him to our staff was his knowledge of what we do defensively and in scouting, after working with Richard for a year.
“It should not take a great deal of time in acclimating him to our program. He’s a tireless worker and he should fit like a glove. He also brings another facet to our recruiting efforts, as he speaks fluent Spanish and has connections throughout Latin America.”
Balado has been coaching since wrapping up his college playing days at St. Thomas University in Miami in 1997, holding positions at the Division I level at Florida Atlantic, Miami and High Point at various points in his career.
Balado joins Kevin Keatts and Wyking Jones as assistants on Pitino’s staff, with former Louisville guard Andre McGee serving as the director of basketball operations.