Pitino hires a new assistant coach

University of Louisville men's basketball coach Rick Pitino has had a busy Friday. He went to get his championship tattoo on Friday morning and now has officially hired a new assistant coach. Pitino has hired Mike Balado, who spent last season as an assistant coach on his son, Richard's, staff at Florida International.

Rick Pitino said he's found the perfect man for the job.

So, on Friday afternoon Pitino hired Mike Balado to replace Kareem Richardson as one of his three assistant coaches at the University of Louisville.

Balado served as an assistant coach last season at Florida International under Richard Pitino and helped FIU to an 18-14 record, the school's first winning season in 13 years and fourth-highest win total in school history.

"Mike brings a wealth of experience in both the recruiting world and in coaching," Pitino said in a news release. "An important factor in adding him to our staff was his knowledge of what we do defensively and in scouting, after working with Richard (Pitino) 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 had previously been at High Point for three seasons where he assisted in all areas of the program with an emphasis on recruiting. He had been on the staff at Miami, Fla., one year prior to the High Point stint.

"I am excited and honored to have the opportunity to work for coach Pitino and the University of Louisville," Balado said. "Given the chance to learn from arguably the best coach, mentor, and person in the game of basketball is truly a blessing."

Balado has also spent time at Florida Atlantic, Miami Dade College and Nova Southeastern University. He began his college coaching career as a graduate assistant at Augusta, Ga., State University.

A former player at St. Thomas University in Miami, Balado is a native of Miami, Fla., and speaks fluent Spanish. He's married with two kids.

At U of L, Balado replaces Kareem Richardson who was on the staff for just one season before leaving to become the head coach at the University of Missouri Kansas City last month.


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