MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — New Minnesota coach Richard Pitino has hired two assistant coaches.
Pitino announced Wednesday that Mike Balado and Kimani Young will be on his staff after working under him this season at Florida International.
Young was an athletic director for a nonprofit inner-city youth organization in New York prior to joining Pitino at FIU. Young also spent one season as head manager and video coordinator at St. John's and has several other years of experience supervising youth sports programs.
Young was a standout at Texas-El Paso and graduated from there in 1998, before being arrested for possession of marijuana. According to El Paso County Court records, Young was convicted on a third degree felony charge in 1999.
Minnesota athletic director Norwood Teague defended Young in a statement distributed by the university, describing him as "an outstanding addition." Teague said he and President Eric Kaler each "spoke at length" with colleagues at schools where Young previously worked and "received assurances that Kimani was a positive influence and leader for their programs" and athletes.
"Coach Young's mistake, more than 14 years ago, was an aberration in an otherwise positive and stable life," Teague said in the statement. "He has been an upstanding leader in every university community he has worked and lived since that time."
According to biographical information provided by the Gophers, Balado has also been an assistant at High Point, Miami and Florida Atlantic. He graduated from St. Thomas University in Miami in 1998 after two years as a starter on that NAIA school's team.