Gopher Basketball: Young and Balado fit the bill


Mar 11, 2013; Hot Springs, AR, USA; Florida International Panthers head coach Richard Pitino reacts during the championship game of the Sun Belt Conference tournament against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers at Summit Arena. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

As Richard Pitino finishes assembling his staff at the University of Minnesota, the 30-year-old second year head coach will be looking for three major things:  Coaches that can recruit, coaches that know and can coach his style, and as Pitino said in his introductory press conference last week, coaches that will make him better.

Kimani Young and Mike Balado were announced as members of Pitino’s coaching staff on Wednesday.  Both coaches were assistant coaches for Pitino at FIU.

Having not only one coach, but two coaches that are familiar with Pitino’s style will make the transition period a lot easier for both the staff and the players. But not only are these coaches familiar with his system, they can recruit as well.

While at FIU, Young and Balado were heavily involved in the recruiting process. Young has connections to the New York City area as he was an athletic director at New Heights Youth before moving to FIU.

Balado has a lot of experience and possible connections to the Miami area where he was an assistant at Miami University, Miami Dade College, and Florida Atlantic University.

Utilizing their connections as well as understanding their areas will help in the recruiting process for the Gophers in the long run.

As Pitino fills out his staff, he will continue to look for experience from coaches who fit the bill. A good staff goes a long way in the world of college basketball.  And as signing day nears, look for more additions to Pitino’s staff.