Arkansas State University has been a powerhouse in NCAA Division I basketball for decades. The Red Wolves have a proud history of success, including several conference championships and NCAA Tournament appearances. As the team continues its pursuit of excellence in the coming years, the Red Wolves are fortunate to have a leader in place to guide them: Mike Balado.
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About Mike Balado
Mike Balado is the current head coach of the Arkansas State Red Wolves men’s basketball team. He was named to the position in April 2018 after a successful five-year stint as an assistant coach at the University of Louisville. Prior to that, he was an assistant coach at Florida International University and Tennessee State University.
Balado has been lauded for his ability to motivate and develop players, and he has a reputation for being an excellent recruiter. He was the lead assistant coach in Louisville’s run to the Sweet 16 in 2017. During his time at Louisville, Balado was also responsible for the development of several NBA players, including Donovan Mitchell and Dwayne Sutton.
Balado’s Coaching Philosophy
Balado believes in an up-tempo style of play that emphasizes defense and an attacking offense. He wants his players to be aggressive, confident, and disciplined. He likes his teams to be physical, play with energy and enthusiasm, and to have a strong work ethic. He also emphasizes the importance of team chemistry and communication.
Balado also places a high value on player development. He believes in creating an environment of trust and support, and he encourages his players to invest in their own development.
Balado’s Success at Arkansas State
In his first two seasons at Arkansas State, Balado has led the Red Wolves to back-to-back winning records. In 2019-20, the Red Wolves went 18-15, the program’s first winning season since the 2013-14 season. The Red Wolves finished second in the Sun Belt Conference, their highest finish in seven years.
The 2020-21 season was even more successful for Balado and the Red Wolves, as they finished with a 21-10 record and a third-place finish in the Sun Belt. The Red Wolves also made their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1999, losing to Oklahoma State in the First Four.
Mike Balado has been a great addition to the Arkansas State Red Wolves men’s basketball program. He has brought a philosophy of hard work and aggressive play to the team, and he has been able to turn the program around in just two seasons. The Red Wolves are poised for continued success in the coming years, and Balado will be the leader in charge.