The Florida Atlantic University Owls, perhaps the most unlikely team left in the 2023 NCAA Tournament, are headed to the Final Four of March Madness. The team is set to take on San Diego State on Saturday to decide who will advance to the championship game. To get there, the Owls took down the Tennessee Volunteers in the Sweet 16 and the Kansas State Wildcats in the Elite Eight.
Dusty May, FAU's 46-year-old head coach, has been with the team since 2018. It goes without saying, but most college basketball fans around the country don't know who May is. He's been coaching in the NCAA for almost 20 years, but this is his first stint as a head coach, which he's clearly crushing.
He wouldn't be in this position without his family.
Who Is Dusty May?
RELATED: The Flawless Few: An Insane Number of Brackets Correctly Predicted the Final Four
Before joining Florida Atlantic in 2018, May had been coaching in various capacities since 2005:
- Indiana University student manager during the time he attended the school (he graduated in 2000).
- Eastern Michigan as an assistant coach from 2005-2006.
- Murray State as an assistant coach from 2006-2007.
- University of Alabama at Birmingham as an assistant coach from 2007-2009.
- Louisiana Tech as an assistant coach from 2009-2015, coaching under now-Georgia head coach Mike White from 2011-2015.
- University of Florida as an assistant coach from 2015-2018.
- Florida Atlantic University head coach of the basketball program from 2018 to the present.
As the Owls' head coach, May has a record of 101-59. The team finished ninth in its conference in 2018 and 2019, followed by a fourth-place and second-place finish in 2020 and 2021, respectively.
In 2022, the Owls went 31-3 after regular season domination and finishing first in Conference USA for the first time. Wins over Memphis, Fairleigh Dickinson, Tennessee and Kansas State have thrusted the nine-seed Owls and their head coach into the spotlight.
Dusty May's Wife Anna & the Emotional Decision to Accept FAU Job
Dusty married Anna Nonte May in 2000, and they have three kids together. Anna reportedly works as an operational therapist. The two met in Bloomfield, Indiana, at Eastern Greene High School — they're high school sweethearts.
They both went to Indiana University together, but Anna would later attend Purdue University. Today, they both reside in Boca Raton, Florida, where FAU is located. They previously lived in Indiana, California and Louisiana, among other locations.
Anna has been by Dusty's side every step of his coaching career. That includes when he broke down crying after accepting the FAU head coaching job.
"I walk in the room and I started crying and said, 'I just committed career suicide. I'm not good enough. I can't do this,'" May recalled telling his wife after signing the contract, via Yahoo Sports. "I'm not a big crier, but I burst into tears like a baby."
May had already accepted the job before visiting FAU's facilities — which were nowhere near the standard he came from as an assistant at Florida. But FAU's athletic director is Brian White, the brother of former Florida men's basketball head coach Mike White, who Dusty coaches under in Gainesville. That helped bring him to Florida Atlantic, a move he regretted initially.
"At that point, I still haven't been to our gym, our weight room, our locker room," he said. "The facilities weren't up to par. And I had already accepted the job... I would've left and went back to Gainesville after signing the contract if it wasn't for my relationship with Mike (White) and his family."
Dusty credits Anna as one reason he took the job at FAU. Five years later, the Owls are in the prestigious Final Four.
Dusty and Anna May Are Raising Their Own Basketball Family
Dusty and Anna have three sons: Jack May, Charlie May and Eli May. Jack is the eldest, born in 2003 and is a basketball player.
Of the three children, Jack, who's turning 20 in 2023, currently plays basketball for the University of Florida. He played two seasons at Gainesville High before moving to Boca Raton when Dusty accepted the FAU job. Jack was a senior and Charlie was a sophomore on the Saint Andrew's School team that won a state championship in Boca Raton.
Jack was a walk-on freshman for the Gators men's basketball team during the 2020-2021 season, appearing in three games. May made his debut against Stetson, recording just one rebound. He also played against the No. 6 Tennessee Volunteers that season. In 2021-22, Jack redshirted, so he did not play for the Gators. The 6-foot-4 guard averaged 1.2 minutes per game across six games in 2022-23. He scored his first two points against Stony Brook on Nov. 7, 2022.
A week later on Nov. 14, the FAU Owls traveled to Gainesville. It was a father-son matchup that the Owls won, 76-74. Jack didn't check into the game at all, but Dusty admitted he would have been "in his feels" had his son gotten action.
Dusty's other son, Charlie May, is also a walk-on, but at UCF. The youngest, Eli, is playing basketball at Saint Andrew's still. Dusty explained the role his sons play as walk-ons to FloridaGators.com:
"You have to have a good understanding of the game, but also your games are practice. Show up and have the most energy every day and make your teammates better. That's it," May said of Jack and Charlie. "I know [Jack] loves it there now. If you're a competitor you're going to have an itch to play. But he loves being part of the team and being on the bench and cheering his teammates."
The May family is spread out across the state of Florida, which has been the talk of the NCAA Tournament considering both FAU and Miami are in the Final Four. It's only the sixth state to ever put multiple teams in the men's Final Four in the same year.
And it May have never happened without the help of Dusty's family.
MORE: Football Plays Are Invading March Madness on Inbound Passes, And It's Genius
Want More Sports News?
Get the biggest and best sports news sent directly to your inbox.