Originally written 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

Kevin Sumlin: Texas A&M players have 'chip on their shoulder'

WATCH: Elvis Andrus steals home against Padres

Seahawks went on Hawaiian vacation to ease SB tension

Robert Kraft: Deflategate 'most overblown story' in NFL

Top 10 storylines for Week 1 of college football season

Jim Tressel once sent touching note to family of Michigan OL

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Sony cut 'Concussion' scenes to avoid angering NFL

Ryan Clark: Trent Richardson is 'worst RB of all time'

Report: David Feherty won't be back at CBS Sports

Warren Moon: RG3 needs to start taking the blame

Lovullo: I don’t see Hanley Ramirez playing left field again in 2015

Judge Berman’s one-sentence order repeats Deflategate decision timeline

Harbaugh named starting QB but won't announce it

Ohio State downplays revenge talk ahead of Va. Tech rematch

WATCH: D-backs pitcher fails on quick pitch attempt

Ex-FSU WR Snoop Minnis trolls rival Florida in great way

Suspicous photo may lead to drug test for CC Sabathia

How the Houston Astros went from garbage to gold

Jack Eichel plans to move in with teammate Matt Moulson

Report: Bills GM 'went rogue’ in cutting Fred Jackson

Terrance Knighton irked by Redskins-Kardsashians comparison

Connor Cook on not being named Michigan State captain: 'It stinks'

Danny Amendola’s advice to those on roster bubble? ‘Control what you can’

Dallas Cowboys: Rookies to watch

Apple reportedly sought exclusive rights to new Bill Simmons podcast

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

Top 10 storylines for Week 1 of college football season

Underdogs: Hopefuls that can shock in the World Cup

Manfred digs Shoeless Joe a deeper grave

Why Mike Trout ain't right

The Opening Drive: Jamal Anderson warns UM fans before heading to Salt Lake City

Best and worst MLB players in August

RG3 blames intern for liking Instagram post trashing owner

Four most surprising roster cuts from NFL teams

Raiders cut Trent Richardson

Caroline Wozniacki smoking cover of ‘Rhapsody’

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