SportsCollege SportsFlorida Atlantic University


Michigan announces hiring of Dusty May as basketball coach

Departing Owls coach calls decision to leave 'incredibly bittersweet'
Posted at 11:48 AM, Mar 24, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-24 18:15:39-04

BOCA RATON, Fla. — After six seasons at Florida Atlantic, Dusty May has been hired by the University of Michigan to fill its men's basketball head-coaching vacancy for a five-year contract worth about $3.75 million annually.

The Big Ten Conference school made the official announcement on Sunday, including contract terms, and he will be introduced during a news conference this week in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He replaces former Miami Heat assistant 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.

Late Saturday, Michigan President Santa Ono, in a social media post, announced the hiring.

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.

"For almost two decades, Dusty May's proven track record as a winner, including Florida Atlantic's magical run to a 2023 Final Four, speaks volumes about him and his coaching," Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel said. "We are so delighted to welcome Dusty, and his family, to the University of Michigan. He embodies the values of high integrity and outstanding character, coupled with an unparalleled understanding of the game of basketball."

May released the following statement Sunday:

"This has been a thrilling journey at Florida Atlantic University and it is incredibly bittersweet to share my decision to accept the head coaching position at the University of Michigan. I love everything about this great institution in Boca Raton.

"I am so proud of what we were able to accomplish here, together, with our fans and alumni, but most importantly our players and staff. These guys gave us everything they had and they will forever be family to me. Each one of them made me a better coach. A lifetime of FAU fans will remember these guys and the memories they created.

"Florida Atlantic is in great hands. I am grateful that Brian White hired me six years ago as a first-time head coach. He trusted me at every turn, and I'm so thankful for his guidance, friendship and tireless efforts in support of the Owls. I am also thankful for the leadership of President Stacy Volnick, and I know she and Brian will continue to keep Florida Atlantic headed in the right direction.

"I am also so appreciative of the support from our passionate fans and donors and will miss it greatly. My wife Anna, my family and I have loved every minute of our time at Florida Atlantic and wish everyone here nothing but the very best. Thank you and Go Owls!"

May guided the Owls to consecutive NCAA tournament berths, a Final Four appearance last year and a 77-65 loss to Northwestern in the first round Friday in Brooklyn.

Florida Atlantic was 126-69 in May's tenure, including a 60-13 over the past two years — the third most wins nationally during that span.

Florida Atlantic Owls head coach Dusty May holds NCAA tournament trophy after beating Kansas State Wildcats in Elite Eight of NCAA tournament, March 25, 2023
Florida Atlantic head coach Dusty May holds up the championship trophy after Florida Atlantic defeated Kansas State 79-86 in an Elite Eight game in the NCAA tournament's East Region final, Saturday, March 25, 2023, in New York.

May has posted a winning record in each of his six seasons in Boca Raton and reached the postseason four times.

He was hired by White on March 22, 2018.

White also released the following statement:

"The University of Michigan has hired a phenomenal basketball coach and an even better person.

"In addition to his historic level of competitive success, Dusty built a world-class culture within our men's basketball program; operating with a high level of integrity and representing our university and athletics department with dignity and class.

"I am genuinely happy for Dusty, his wife Anna and their children Jack, Charlie and Eli, who have been so important to the Boca Raton community over their six years here in Paradise and will forever be FAU family.

"It is with tremendous gratitude on behalf of our entire university community that we wish Dusty nothing but the best with the Wolverines.

"While I know many will be saddened and disappointed by this news, I encourage you to reflect on all of the things we have accomplished and the joy that the May era has brought to all of us.

"Because of this success, our program is in an incredible position of strength, and we are poised to continue that momentum. We will move swiftly with a search for our next head coach and I look forward to speaking with you again when that process is complete."

Michigan will pay FAU a $1 million buyout for hiring May while under contract.

May, who will more than triple his salary at Michigan, agreed to a 10-year contract after last season worth $15.7 million with $1.25 million this season and was set to increase by 5% annually until 2033.

Almost the entire roster returned as Florida Atlantic moved from Conference USA to the American Athletic Conference. The Owls finished the regular season 25-9 overall, 14-4 in the AAC and received an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.

May previously spent three years as an assistant coach at the University of Florida. He followed then-Florida head coach Mike White, Brian's brother, from Louisiana Tech to Gainesville.

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 native of Peoria, Illinois, was a student manager for the Indiana University men's basketball team under legendary coach Bob Knight, also a Big Ten school. After graduating, he began his professional career as an administrative assistant/video coordinator at Southern California from 2000-02.

He returned to Indiana in an administrative role for three seasons.

May and his wife, Anna, have three sons, Jack (guard on the Florida men's basketball team), Charlie (guard on the UCF men's basketball team) and Eli.

"Dusty's successes on the court and his wonderful personality off the court exemplified Florida Atlantic's values," interim President Stacy Volnick said. "Furthermore, what his and the team's performances have done to elevate, not only the basketball program but the entire university's profile, cannot be understated. While I am sad to see Dusty leave, I sincerely wish him well."