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Report: Arkansas State to hire Louisville assistant Mike Balado as head coach

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Balado will replace Grant McCasland, who took over at North Texas

NCAA Basketball: Arkansas State at Baylor Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

The coaching carousel continues to see early action.

Arkansas State will hire Louisville assistant Mike Balado as head coach, according to Jeff Goodman of ESPN.

Balado will replace Grant McCasland, who went 20-12 in Jonesboro in his only season. The Red Wolves finished tied for third in the Sun Belt in 2016-17 before bowing out to Louisiana Monroe in the first round of the conference tournament.

McCasland left to take the head coaching job at North Texas last week.

Balado has served as an assistant coach for Rick Pitino at Louisville since April 2013, and spent a year on the staff at Florida International before that. He as also served as an assistant at High Point, Miami, Florida Atlantic, and Miami Dade College.

Prior to the announcement, as rumors began to swirl, Pitino vouched for Balado’s bright future as a head coach.

"He's more than ready (to be a head coach)," Pitino said. "I just want him to make sure – I don't want him to leave; I want him to stay. Same thing with (U of L assistants Kenny Johnson and David Padgett). I want to make sure he takes the right job, because certain guys sometimes take the wrong job."

Balado will now join Kevin Keatts (who was just hired at NC State), Kevin Willard, Mick Cronin, and Richard Pitino as former Pitino assistants to take over programs.