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Dusty May finalizing deal to take over at Michigan, AP source says

FAU coach led Owls to consecutive NCAA tournament bids, 2023 Final Four
Posted at 10:03 PM, Mar 23, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-23 23:30:44-04

BOCA RATON, Fla. — Dusty May is going to Michigan, returning to his Big Ten roots and leaving Florida Atlantic after six seasons highlighted by a Final Four run that thrust him into the national spotlight a year ago.

Michigan President Santa Ono, in a social media post, announced the hiring on Saturday night. May and the Wolverines were finalizing details of what was expected to be a five-year contract, according to a person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because Michigan had yet to announce the terms of the deal.

"I am thrilled to welcome Dusty May to the University of Michigan as our new head basketball coach," Ono wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

ESPN first reported the agreement.

FAU players were on campus for a team meeting Sunday morning with May and athletic director Brian White.

May will replace Juwan Howard, who was fired after five seasons with the Wolverines. Howard went 82-67 with two NCAA tournament appearances, but the Wolverines went 8-24 this season — the school's worst record since 1960-61.

Barely 24 hours after FAU's season was done, Michigan put its turnaround task in May's hands.

The speculation about May's future started long before now — it really has been a constant for more than a year. He was touted as a rising coaching candidate last season after a 20-game win streak thrust FAU into the national spotlight for the first time. And then the NCAA run to the Final Four, where the Owls were a bounce away from making it to the national championship game against Connecticut, only further validated the sense that May was ready for the biggest of big time.

FAU did what it could last year to keep May, signing him shortly after the Final Four run to a 10-year extension. He earned $1.25 million in base salary this season, plus another $25,000 for making the NCAA tournament. FAU is due a $1 million buyout now that May has decided to leave.

May got questions about his future for the last several weeks, including when FAU lost to Northwestern on Friday in the first round of the NCAA tournament. His stance never wavered: His plan was to listen to those who called and then decide what was best.

Michigan evidently made him an offer that he couldn't decline.

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.

May went 126-69 in his six years at Florida Atlantic, finishing with winning records in each of those seasons — and seeing the victories really pile up in the last two years. The Owls went 35-4 last season on their way to the Final Four and finished this season at 25-9.

That's 60 wins in the last two years; entering this weekend, the only Division I men's programs with more victories in that span were Houston (64) and defending national champion UConn (63). FAU's home record in that stretch of 30-1 tied Drake for the best at the Division I men's level, with all those games being sellouts in Boca Raton — such a hot ticket that students would line up for hours to get into some of those contests, something that the school hadn't seen before.

Countless firsts in FAU basketball history came on May's watch, such as the first NCAA tournament win, first 25-win season, first AP Top 25 appearance and first Final Four.

FAU had exactly one season with 20 wins before May came along; the Owls have three now after he was able to lure big-time talent to Boca Raton and play in a 3,000-seat arena that doubles as the practice court.

Put another way: May had more winning seasons at FAU (six) than the school had in its first 25 years of Division I play before he arrived combined (five).

FAU was May's first stop as a head coach. He was previously an assistant at Florida, Louisiana Tech, UAB, Murray State and Eastern Michigan, started his coaching career as an administrative assistant and video coordinator at USC — and before all that, graduated from Indiana where he was a manager under Bob Knight.

WPTV has not independently confirmed the reports.