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Dusty May thanks FAU during introduction at Michigan: 'Without them, I wouldn't be here'

New Wolverines basketball coach says some assistants could come with him
Michigan Wolverines basketball coach Dusty May introduced, March 26, 2024
Posted at 5:02 PM, Mar 26, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-26 17:10:01-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Dusty May is the new head basketball coach at the University of Michigan. But Florida Atlantic University will always be with him.

May thanked FAU during his introductory remarks Tuesday in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

"They're the reason that I'm able to stand here today," May said. "Without them, I wouldn't be here, so I continue and will represent them as a part of me."

Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel said May was his "top target" after dismissing former head coach Juwan Howard earlier this month.

Michigan Wolverines basketball coach Dusty May and athletic director Warde Manuel hold basketball jersey during introductory news conference, March 26, 2024
Dusty May is presented a Michigan jersey by athletic director Warde Manuel before being introduced as the new Wolverines head basketball coach, Tuesday, March 26, 2024, in Ann Arbor, Mich.

That's not a surprise considering how May turned a relatively unknown university and turned it into a basketball power, leading the Owls to six winning campaigns in as many seasons, including back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances.

FAU advanced to the Final Four in 2023 and fell a basket shy of playing for the national championship.

May came to FAU as a first-time head coach. He left FAU as the all-time wins leader in program history.

Florida Atlantic Owls head coach Dusty May cuts down net after Elite Eight victory in NCAA tournament, March 25, 2023
Florida Atlantic head coach Dusty May cuts the net after the Owls defeated Kansas State in an Elite Eight game in the NCAA tournament's East Region final, Saturday, March 25, 2023, in New York.

The 47-year-old former Florida assistant began his college basketball career in the Big Ten Conference as a student manager at Indiana under the late Bob Knight.

May had a message to former Michigan players, coaches and staff members.

"This is your program," he said. "I'm just a steward and I'm blessed to do that."

May touted building a program that will represent Michigan "with class and dignity."

"Our identity will be teamwork, passion and togetherness," he added.

Michigan Wolverines basketball coach Dusty May with block 'M' in background during introductory news conference, March 26, 2024
Dusty May explains why he chose the University of Michigan as he's introduced as the head basketball coach of the Wolverines, Tuesday, March 26, 2024, in Ann Arbor, Mich.

May also joked about how he and his wife will soon become empty nesters and the unconventional path they've chosen.

"Typically, empty nesters move south," May said. "We've decided to go with a reverse commute, and we're trading in the Atlantic Ocean salt water of Boca Raton, Florida, for the fresh lake water of Michigan."

Among the topics May touched upon were the transfer portal, name, image and likeness, overtures from other schools and assembling his coaching staff.

May said the morning after FAU's 77-65 overtime loss to Northwestern in the first round of the NCAA tournament, he received a text from his agent saying Michigan wanted to meet with him. He said they worked out the logistics and met Saturday evening in Fort Lauderdale.

Florida Atlantic Owls head coach Dusty May talks to official during NCAA tournament game vs. Northwestern Wildcats, March 22, 2024
Florida Atlantic head coach Dusty May talks to an official as guard Nick Boyd watches during the first half of a first-round NCAA tournament game, Friday, March 22, 2024, in New York.

"I probably showed my hand too early, because this was a place that I wanted to be," May said.

Asked about reports that Louisville was also interested in him, May spoke fondly of the Cardinals but emphasized that Michigan was right for him.

"This was the right fit for me, my family and it just felt right," he said.

May said he anticipates his staff will be a combination of new hires and assistants coming with him.

"I'm going to be very thorough and make sure the right guys are in the right spots for this place, for this program," May said. "But I know that I'll be surrounded by hard workers who really, really care about the young men they're coaching."

Michigan Wolverines basketball coach Dusty May speaks as Warde Manuel listens during introductory news conference, March 26, 2024
University of Michigan new head basketball coach Dusty May addresses the media as athletic director Warde Manuel looks on during a news conference, Tuesday, March 26, 2024, in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Manuel said he never heard anything negative about May throughout the coaching search.

"Everything was positive," Manuel said.

Before the news conference concluded, May fielded one final question from a reporter who wanted to know if any Owls players planned to follow him to Michigan.

"I don't think any of them are in the portal," May said. "Right now, I don't know. I want that place to continue to sustain success, and I'll do everything I can to help that."