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5 possible candidates to replace Dusty May at Florida Atlantic

These college basketball names could hear overtures from Brian White
Posted at 12:07 PM, Mar 25, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-25 12:07:57-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Now that Dusty May has left Florida Atlantic to take over at Michigan, who will the Owls hire to replace him? Here are five possible candidates FAU could target.

Juwan Howard

Michigan Wolverines basketball coach Juwan Howard yells, March 15, 2024
Michigan head coach Juwan Howard yells during the first half against Nebraska, Sunday, March 10, 2024, in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Would FAU hire the guy Michigan fired after its worst season since 1960-61? Why not? For one, Juwan Howard knows South Florida. He was a Miami Heat assistant under head coach Erik Spoelstra before taking the Michigan job in 2019. He's also a big name who has recruited the state, luring players like NBA draft picks Caleb Houstan and Moussa Diabate away from Florida to frigid Michigan. The Michigan alumnus and two-time NBA champion led the Wolverines to a Big Ten Conference regular-season title in 2021, the same year he was named national coach of the year by The Associated Press.

Todd Abernethy

Mississippi Rebels guard Todd Abernethy dribbles past Alabama Crimson Tide guard Mykal Riley, Feb. 10, 2007
Mississippi guard Todd Abernethy dribbles past Alabama guard Mykal Riley, Saturday, Feb. 10, 2007, in Oxford, Miss.

If FAU athletic director Brian White decides to stay in-house, former Mississippi star Todd Abernethy would be a good fit. He's paid his dues as an assistant, serving under May since his arrival in 2019. Abernethy has been part of FAU's six straight winning seasons and could be the gel to keeping the current Owls players from hitting the transfer portal. But will May look to take Abernethy with him to Michigan? If not Abernethy, FAU could also consider assistant Kyle Church.

Josh Schertz

Indiana State Sycamores basketball coach Josh Schertz, Feb. 13, 2024
Indiana State head coach Josh Schertz looks on during a game Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024, in Terre Haute, Ind.

In his third season at Indiana State, FAU alumnus Josh Schertz could be just what the Owls need to keep moving the basketball program forward. Schertz has led Indiana State to its best season since NBA legend Larry Bird played there, guiding the Sycamores to 30 wins and a first-place finish in the Missouri Valley Conference. But Indiana State was snubbed a spot in the NCAA tournament, instead settling for a top seed in the National Invitation Tournament. Before Indiana State, Schertz led Division II Lincoln Memorial to a 337-69 record in 13 seasons and nine NCAA tournament appearances (not including the canceled 2020 tournament), including three trips to the Final Four. But the Sycamores could make a deep run in the NIT, so the question becomes whether FAU would wait for him.

Donnie Jones

Stetson Hatters basketball coach Donnie Jones in NCAA tournament, March 22, 2024
Stetson head coach Donnie Jones reacts during the first half of a first-round NCAA tournament game against Connecticut, Friday, March 22, 2024, in New York.

Donnie Jones is well-traveled when it comes to college basketball programs in the Sunshine State. The current Stetson head coach led the Hatters to their first-ever NCAA tournament appearance after winning the Atlantic Sun Conference. Jones also spent six seasons as head coach at Central Florida and was an assistant under Billy Donovan when Florida won back-to-back national championships at Florida. His overall record is 212-207, including three seasons at Marshall, but FAU would be an upgrade as far as name recognition and exposure.

Will Wade

McNeese State Cowboys basketball coach Will Wade claps during NCAA tournament, March 21, 2024
McNeese State head coach Will Wade claps during the second half of a first-round NCAA tournament game against Gonzaga, Thursday, March 21, 2024, in Salt Lake City.

Former LSU and current McNeese State head coach Will Wade might be a name that gives some FAU fans pause, but there's no question he's been successful wherever he's been. Wade has never had a losing campaign as a head coach at Chattanooga, VCU, LSU or McNeese State. The Cowboys just capped a 30-4 season and a trip to the NCAA tournament in Wade's debut season at the helm of the program. Of course, his tenure at LSU was clouded by allegations of recruiting violations, which led to his ouster in March 2022. Would FAU want to take a chance on a guy with a checkered history like his? If not, former Xavier and Louisville head coach Chris Mack is unemployed.