Mike Balado is in his first season as an assistant coach at FIU after spending three seasons at High Point where he assisted in all areas of the Panther basketball program with a heavy concentration on recruiting. He helped bring in several recruits as part of HPU's first two recruiting classes. A native of Miami, Balado speaks fluent Spanish, which is a strength on the international scene.
“Mike Balado has great experience in the college game as well as the junior college ranks,” FIU Head Coach Richard Pitino said. “He knows the state of Florida and will be able to recruit from top to bottom. He is a tireless worker and will bring a lot to our staff.”
Balado joined the HPU staff after spending the 2008-09 season on the University of Miami basketball staff where he helped the Hurricanes compile a 19-13 record and a trip to the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) in 2008-09. The team featured All-ACC first team selection Jack McClinton, who ranked second in the conference in scoring.
Prior to coaching at Miami, Balado spent three years on the Florida Atlantic University basketball staff. In Balado’s first season at FAU in 2005-06, the team posted its second-consecutive winning season, the first time since the early 1990s that the Owls had consecutive winning seasons. In 2006-07, the Owls won 10 Sun Belt Conference games, the third-most for a first-year Sun Belt member. The team also set a program scoring record, averaging 74.9 points per game. The Owls went 15-18 and 8-10 in Sun Belt Conference play in 2007-08. During his tenure at FAU, Balado was a key recruiter.
Balado spent two seasons at Miami Dade College before taking the post at FAU. While at Miami Dade, he helped lead the Sharks to back-to-back winning seasons, including a program-best 27-5 mark en route to the conference championship in 2004-05. He recruited four of MDC’s 2004-05 All-Conference selections, including the conference Player of the Year.
Prior to his time at MDC, Balado spent a year at Nova Southeastern University. He began his collegiate coaching career at Augusta (Ga.) State University where he served as a graduate assistant from 1998-2000.
Balado played collegiate basketball at St. Thomas University in Miami, where he was a two-year starter and captain. He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1998 and added a master’s of education in exercise and sport science from Augusta State in 2000.
He is married to the former Alicia Nigro and the couple had twins, Aiden and Addy, in June 2009.