Both assistants coached with Pitino at Florida International.
Mike Balado comes to the Twin Cities after spending one season on Coach Pitino's staff at Florida International University (FIU). While at FIU, Baldo assisted with all aspects of the program, most notably recruiting, scheduling and academic monitoring, as well as practice and game preparation.
Prior to his time in South Florida, Balado spent three seasons at High Point University as an assistant coach. His main role at High Point was as the program's recruiting coordinator and played a key role in recruiting the program's first two classes under head coach Scott Cherry. That class helped HPU to 17 wins overall this season, including 12 conference victories and the program's first Big South Conference's North Division title since moving to NCAA Division I prior to the 1999-2000 season.
Balado joined the HPU staff after spending the 2008-09 season on the University of Miami basketball staff in player development as a graduate assistant. That year the Hurricanes compiled a 19-13 record and a trip to the National Invitation Tournament.
Prior to coaching at Miami, Balado spent three years on the Florida Atlantic University basketball staff. In Balado's first season at FAU in 2005-06, the team posted its second-consecutive winning season, the first time since the early 1990s that the Owls had consecutive winning seasons. In 2006-07, the Owls won 10 Sun Belt Conference games, the third-most for a first-year Sun Belt member. The team also set a program scoring record, averaging 74.9 points per game. The Owls went 15-18 and 8-10 in Sun Belt Conference play in 2007-08.
Balado spent two seasons at Miami Dade College before taking the post at FAU. While at Miami Dade, he helped lead the Sharks to back-to-back winning seasons, including a program-best 27-5 mark, en route to the conference championship. He recruited four of MDC's 2004-05 All-Conference selections, including the Player of the Year.
Balado began his collegiate coaching career at Augusta (Ga.) State University where he served as a graduate assistant from 1998-2000.
Balado played collegiately for two seasons at St. Thomas University in Miami, where he was a two-year starter and team captain, and two seasons at Warner Southern College. He earned a bachelor's degree in psychology in 1998 from St. Thomas and added a master's of education in exercise and sport science from Augusta State in 2000.
Balado and his wife Alicia are the proud parents of twins, Aiden and Adalina.