Originally posted on College Spun  |  Last updated 8/15/13

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

Sanu: Halftime show played role in Super Bowl collapse

James Dolan is among potential group of investors of new arena for New York Islanders

Report: Rams, Clippers discussing NBA venue in Inglewood

Terrence Jones reportedly interested in joining Celtics

LeBron reverses course, says he ‘always felt good’ about Cavs

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Ole Miss tried to implicate Mississippi State in football scandal

Jamaal Charles could be on the roster bubble

Jimmy Butler on state of Bulls: ‘I just want to win at all costs’

Report: Giants will be ‘aggressive’ in trying to sign Jason Pierre-Paul

Report: Porzingis avoided ligament damage in ankle

Brooks Koepka meltdown includes whiff, stomping head off driver

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Box Score 2/24: A night of NBA disrespect

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

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

James Dolan is among potential group of investors of new arena for New York Islanders

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker