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]

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Michael Vick: Jameis Winston is the future of the NFL

Report: No NFL team is moving to Los Angeles in 2015

Report: 49ers looking for young, offensive mind as next coach

Sheldon Richardson: I'm on the same level as JJ Watt

Kendrick Perkins: Rajon Rondo wanted out of Boston

Report: Jim Harbaugh being encouraged to take Michigan job

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Three quarterbacks who could be traded this offseason

Wolves trade Corey Brewer to the Rockets

Yankees trade Prado to Marlins for Eovaldi in 5-player deal

Brandon Browner fined $8K for throwing Brandon Gibson to turf

Report: Sharper, NFLers called spiked drinks 'horny juice'

Rex Ryan: My wife could coach Tom Brady

Grizzlies players buy new car for team intern

Peyton Siva jokes that Rick Pitino is in the mob

WATCH: Montrezl Harrell ejected for throwing punch

UNC wearing Jordan-era throwback uniforms

Brian Kelly: Justin Brent gets 'distracted,' is in my doghouse

Five free agent signings that should happen in 2015

Reporter asks Rajon Rondo awkward question about trade

Video: Swaggy P elbows Steven Adams in throat, gets ejected

Video: Grizzlies buy car for assistant who had his stolen

Video: LeBron takes pass to the face from Dion Waiters

New video of Ray Rice incident emerges

President Obama calls James Franco “James Flacco”

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.

Vick: Winston is the future of the NFL

No NFL team in LA next season?

UNC rocking Jordan-era throwbacks

Reporter asks Rondo awkward question

Three quarterbacks who could be traded this offseason

Jon Lester and the Cubs

Report: NFL players used 'horny juice'

Top 10 worst NBA related commercials of all-time

Phelps gets probation for DUI

NFL coaches on hot seat in Week 16

The Roy Williams-Terrell Owens horse collar turns 10

Most underpaid NFL players in 2014

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.