Reports surfaced over the weekend that UofL assistant coach Mike Balado was in talks with Arkansas State about becoming their next head basketball coach. On Sunday afternoon following Louisville’s season ending loss, Arkansas State officially announced that Balado had been hired.
In four seasons under Rick Pitino, Balado played a huge role in recruiting and scouting opponents.
Balado takes over for Grant McCasland, who resigned at Arkansas State to coach North Texas. McCasland finished with a 20-12 record in his only season in Jonesboro.
Balado joined Rick Pitino’s staff following Louisville’s championship season in 2013. Prior to being hired at Louisville, Balado spent just one season at FIU where he was an assistant for Rick Pitino’s son, Richard, who left Miami after one season to take over at Minnesota. In four seasons under Rick Pitino, Balado played a huge role in recruiting and scouting opponents.
According to a report from Jeff Greer of the Courier-Journal, Rick Pitino will promote within to replace Balado. Jordan Fair is expected to take the vacant assistant coach spot. Fair joined the UofL staff last year as a graduate assistant. He was the head coach at Oldsmar Christian School in Florida before coming to Louisville.
Nick Coffey is the creator and lead publisher for TheCardinalConnect.com. Along with covering Louisville basketball, football and recruiting, Nick also hosts The Red Zone weekdays from noon – 3:00 PM on Cards Radio 790 KRD.