Sun Belt Conference
JONESBORO, Ark. (3/16/23) – Arkansas State Vice Chancellor for Intercollegiate Athletics Jeff Purinton announced Thursday that Mike Balado will not return as head men’s basketball coach next year.
“We want to thank Coach Balado for his service and contributions to our men’s basketball program and Arkansas State University the past six years,” said Purinton. “We appreciate the hard work and time he committed to the program, as well as the way his student-athletes have represented us on the court and in the community. We wish him and his family the best in their future endeavors.
“Following a thorough evaluation of our program, the decision was made that now is the time for a fresh start. We will move forward with high expectations to advance the program and consistently compete for championships.”
Balado, named A-State’s head men’s basketball coach on March 20, 2017, recently completed his sixth season with the Red Wolves in 2022-23. The Red Wolves advanced to the second round of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament before completing the year with a 13-20 record, giving the program 82 victories under Balado.
Guiding A-State to wins in the SBC Tournament each of the last three seasons for the first time since 2011-12 through 2013-14, Balado led the Red Wolves to 18 wins in 2021-22 for the program’s most victories since the 2016-17 season.
“First, I would like to say thank you to the community of Jonesboro and Arkansas State University for the opportunity to be your head coach,” said Balado. “I have nothing but great things to say about this city and the people in it, and they’ve made this a very special place for me and my family.
“I’m very proud of the players we’ve recruited here and that we’ve been able to graduate 100 percent of our seniors who exhausted their eligibility. To all the players who have played for me, I want to thank them for their hard work and dedication to the program, as well as me and my family.
“I also want to say a special thank you to (former A-State Athletics Directors) Terry Mohajir and Tom Bowen and to (current Athletics Director) Jeff Purinton for the opportunity to work under their tutelage. I wish nothing but the best for A-State in the future.”
Arkansas State will immediately begin a national search for its 17th all-time head men’s basketball coach.
A-State Makes Change in Men’s Basketball Leadership. Article may or may not reflect the views of KLEK 102.5 FM or The Voice of Arkansas Minority Advocacy Council