Mike Balado came to Florida Atlantic University in the summer of 2005 as a coach with in-depth knowledge of junior college and South Florida prep basketball. After one season, he was the first assistant hired by first-year head coach Rex Walters.
Balado's background has paid significant dividends for FAU, with all eight newcomers for 2006-07 having a prior connection to Florida, including seven who have attended South Florida high schools and/or junior colleges. In addition, his ability to speak fluent Spanish makes him a valuable resource when recruiting internationally.
From 2003 to 2005, Balado coached at Miami Dade College, where he helped lead the Sharks to consecutive winning seasons. Among his responsibilities were coordinating recruiting, scouting, travel and academic maturation. He also assisted with scheduling and budgeting.
In 2003-04, MDC posted a 17-13 record and then went 27-5 in 2004-05 on its way to winning the Southern Conference Championship. That 27-5 mark was the best in school history.
MDC was ranked among the top-three teams in the state throughout the 2004-05 campaign. Balado recruited four of MDC's 2004-05 all-conference selections, including the conference player of the year.
Prior to MDC, Balado was an assistant coach at Nova Southeastern University for the 2002-03 season.
From 2000 to 2002, Balado was an assistant coach and health instructor at Miami Southridge High School. The 2000-01 team advanced to its first regional final and represented MSHS in the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) State Tournament. In 2001-02, Southridge won the district regular season championship.
Balado's collegiate coaching experience began at Augusta (GA) State University, where he served as a graduate assistant from 1998 to 2000.
The native of Miami played collegiate basketball at St. Thomas University in Miami, where he was a two-year starter and captain and earned a bachelor's degree in psychology in 1998. He received a master's of education in exercise and sport science from Augusta State in 2000.
Balado and his wife, Alicia, were married June 16, 2007, and currently reside in Pompano Beach, FL.