Originally written on College Spun  |  Last updated 11/16/14

gocards.com A few weeks ago, assistant basketball coach Mike Balado was really unsure of his future — due to unlucky timing, he found himself without a stable job. Last season, Balado was part of the Florida International coaching staff with Richard Pitino. Of course, Pitino took the Minnesota coaching job, and was looking to bring Balado along to his new school as well. Balado, after checking out Minnesota, decided he would remain at FIU, but returned and hadn’t heard from athletic director Pete Garcia in several days. Unsure if his position was still secure, he went back to Pitino to accept the Minnesota job, only to see that the opening had already been filled. It looked like Balado was going to have to take a job at D-II Barry University  for $18,000 for the year and work as a personal trainer at the local YMCA — a tough situation for any family — Balado is married and has 4-year-old twins. However, another Pitino had an eye on Balado, up in Louisville. Rick had heard only great things about Mike from his son, and called Balado and told him to come to his house to chat. The short story? He ended up offering Balado a position on the Cardinals staff: Then he pulled out a trio of $100 bills from his wallet and handed them to Balado, insisting he take his wife out for a nice dinner after the brutal few weeks the couple had recently endured. Balado politely declined, having too much pride to take charity. “You can afford it now,” Pitino said. “You’re an assistant coach at Louisville.” Balado still couldn’t process what Pitino was saying. Here he was on the verge of having to struggle to make ends meet — and now he was being hired as a full-time assistant with the defending national champions, earning a salary in excess of $200,000. Balado broke down in tears before calling his wife, a high school teacher. “I don’t think he thought it was real,” Alicia Balado said. “He was crying like a baby,” Richard Pitino recalled. “He went from Barry University to Louisville.” Now Rick Pitino is one of the most polarizing figures in college basketball — many people both love and hate him. But this was a great gesture from the coach, and one that Balado is extremely grateful for. Kudos to Rick for the move. [LostLettermen]

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Rex Ryan praises Patriots, calls Deflategate 'unfortunate'

Brady hopes Peyton Manning comes back next season

Report: Thibodeau’s relationship with Bulls 'beyond repair'

Joe Montana pins blame for Deflategate on Tom Brady

NFLPA boss: No Deflategate interviews until after SB

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Blandino: Deflategate no sting; PSI in footballs not logged in

Aaron Hernandez’s DNA found on bullet casing, joint near body

Thomas upset he was tested for PEDs over health statement

Marshawn’s press conference to end all press conferences

NFL to assist Seahawks in ID'ing Pats' ineligible receiver sets

Josh Gordon in essay: I'm not an addict

WATCH: Timberwolves throw shade at Kevin Love in promo

Tom Izzo: 'The Twitter' may have affected team's confidence

Measles outbreak hits Arizona days before Super Bowl

Proposed pace-of-play rule changes, by the numbers

Super Bowl XLIX should smash TV viewership record yet again

NFL, officials, Carroll disagree on ineligible player rules

Seattle business rolling 12,000 joints for Super Bowl

How Yardbarker got Marshawn Lynch to open up back in 2008

Super Bowl records that won't fall anytime soon

Richard Sherman, girlfriend expecting baby any day

15 amazing Super Bowl XLIX stats

Pats fans buy Super Bowl tickets, told they're unavailable

College Basketball News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Rex Ryan downplays Deflategate

Brady hopes Manning comes back

The worst Super Bowl commercials of all-time

SB anthem, halftime performers through the years

Super Bowl should smash TV records

Super Bowl records unlikely to fall

15 amazing Super Bowl XLIX stats

Teammate: Manziel not a joke

Ten most underrated SB performances

Knicks ‘in play’ for Kevin Durant?

Ex-QB: Everyone deflates footballs

Where did 'Hawks, Pats find players?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.