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Michigan basketball makes new assistant coach hires official

Chris Balasby:Chris Balas04/18/24


Dusty May hires Justin Joyner to Staff & word on transfer portal targets

Michigan head coach Dusty May officially has his new coaching staff. Former FAU assistant Kyle Church, former Oklahoma State head coach Mike Boynton, former Georgia assistant Akeem Miskdeen, and former St. Mary’s assistant Justin Joyner will join May in Ann Arbor along with FAU staffers Drew Williamson and Brandon Gilbert.

“In my recent press conference, I emphasized the importance of assembling a team of outstanding teachers who excel in communication and instruction. I’m happy to announce that we’ve achieved that goal,” May said. “While I was already familiar with some of our coaches, I took great care in selecting the best candidates for the remaining positions. Together, this group has a broad basketball background, a strong work ethic and admirable personal attributes. I’ve already witnessed their unwavering commitment to success, and I’m incredibly impressed.”

From the release, Boynton led the Cowboys to 119 wins in his seven years at Oklahoma State, the fourth all-time for a head coach. He guided the Cowboys to a trip to the 2021 NCAA Tournament and two NIT quarterfinals (2018 and 2023). He had three 20-plus win seasons and a runner-up finish at the 2021 Big 12 Tournament. He recorded 24 wins over nationally ranked teams, the third most in OSU history, including 11 wins against top-10 teams.

Before Oklahoma State, Boynton was an assistant under Brad Underwood (Illinois) at Stephen F. Austin. With an 89-14 record, the Lumberjacks recorded three straight 25-plus win seasons, including a 32-3 mark in 2013-14. With an exceptional 53-1 record in Southland play, SFA won three straight Southland regular-season and tournament championships, earning three automatic bids to the NCAA Tournament.

“I’m ecstatic for this opportunity to work at a world-class institution like the University of Michigan,” Boynton. “The Michigan brand is one of the strongest in the world, and having the chance to assist in re-establishing the Wolverines as a championship program is a responsibility I will not take lightly. Most important for me, it is the opportunity to work for, and with, an elite winner like Coach May. My family and I cannot wait to move to Ann Arbor and get started on restoring the pride of all of the great Wolverines worldwide.”

Joyner comes to Ann Arbor after a successful seven-year coaching stint under legendary coach Randy Bennett at Saint Mary’s College. After playing and completing his studies at UC Santa Barbara (2006-11), Joyner worked as an individual skill development coach as well as coaching on the AAU circuit for seven years. Transitioning to the collegiate level in 2017, he joined Saint Mary’s as the Director of Basketball Operations for the 2017-18 season. Following a successful season, he was promoted to assistant coach in 2018 before being elevated to associate head coach for his final two seasons.

During Joyner’s seven seasons with the Gaels, they posted 171 wins, with an 83-24 mark in West Coast Conference (WCC) play. Recording six seasons with 20 wins or more, including a 30-6 mark in the 2017-18 season, the Gaels added six 10-plus win seasons in WCC play, winning back-to-back regular-season titles (2023 and 2024) while closing as runner-up three times (2018, 2019, 2022). SMC added WCC Tournament titles in 2019 and 2024.

“When I learned about the opportunity to work with Coach May at the University of Michigan, I knew it was a once-in-a-lifetime chance,” he said. “Working at a place with the rich tradition of Michigan and with a coach and person of Dusty’s caliber is invigorating. I feel incredibly fortunate to join this staff, and although there is a lot of work ahead of us, I’ve never been one to shy away from a challenge. I am excited to embark on the journey of building a program that can contend for and win championships.”

Miskdeen (“mis-cuh-deen”) and May had previously worked together at Florida Atlantic for three years (2018-21) before he moved on to work under Mike White over the next three seasons, at Florida (2021-22) and Georgia (2022-24). Known for his player development as well as his successes on the court, Miskdeen helped captured two regular-season titles, and three conference tournament championships, and has guided his teams to seven postseason trips, including four to the NCAA Tournament (three Division I, one Division II) during his 17 seasons on the sidelines.

As an assistant coach at Florida Atlantic, Miskdeen helped lead the Owls to a combined 47-41 record and three consecutive winning records, a feat FAU had accomplished just once before in program history (1989-92). Before his time in Boca Raton, Miskdeen was part of three straight NCAA Tournament bids while coaching at Hampton (2015 and 2016) and Kent State (2017).

“My family and I are extremely blessed and excited to join the University of Michigan,” Miskdeen said. “Reuniting with Coach May makes this opportunity even more special. Growing up watching the Big Ten, particularly Michigan Basketball, I know the strength of this program and league. Becoming a small part of its rich tradition and history means so much to me. I am going to work relentlessly to add to all of it and make sure we have every chance to succeed — on and off the floor.”

Church has worked alongside May in 12 of his 14 seasons, having first met him at Louisiana Tech (2013-15) while they worked under Mike White. As both joined White at Florida (2015-18), they worked together for three more years before Church followed May to Florida Atlantic, where he served as an assistant coach for the last six seasons.

During his tenure, the Owls achieved a record of 126-69 along with a conference record of 61-38. With six straight winning seasons, the Owls made four tournament appearances, including a magical run to the 2023 NCAA Final Four.

After a successful collegiate playing career at Old Dominion (2003-07) as well as a professional career in Germany, Williamson entered the coaching ranks that included stops at his alma mater ODU for two seasons, eight seasons with Division II Virginia State and three with Florida Atlantic under May.

“My basketball career has taken me to several special places, but I couldn’t be more excited to join the community of Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan,” Church said. “I am very thankful, and fortunate, to have worked alongside coach May for well over the last decade. He is a tireless worker and has a great basketball mind. I look forward to supporting him, our staff and our players. I am excited to help the block ‘M’ back to the top of the Big Ten and the national landscape.”

Williamson helped develop the Owl post players and recorded three straight winning seasons at FAU. Overall, FAU compiled a 79-27 record with a 43-13 conference record, including the 2023 Conference USA title and runner-up finishes in 2022 (CUSA) and 2024 (AAC)

Before his time in Boca Raton, Williamson spent eight seasons at Virginia State as an assistant coach for six seasons before being elevated to the associate head coach in his final two seasons. Throughout his tenure, Williamson assisted VSU legendary coach Lonnie Blow Jr. Together, they had a near .750 winning percentage after recording 150 wins in 202 games. The Trojans had a run of four straight 20-win seasons recording a program record 28 in the 2018-19 campaign.

“I’m honored to join the coaching staff at the University of Michigan under Coach May,” he said. “Working, and learning, from him over the last three years has been a blessing. As a fan of the Big Ten, I fully understand the importance of the Wolverines and the significance of the block M in the world of college sports. The league has an unparalleled reputation and prestige. I look forward to bringing my passion for the game and love for developing outstanding young men to the program.”

With a 14-year career in collegiate basketball, Gilbert spent the last six seasons (2018-24) with May at Florida Atlantic University as the assistant to the head coach after spending four seasons (2014-18) as the Director of Basketball Operations at Samford University. He is involved in all facets of the program, including assisting the staff in recruiting, scouting, film and analytics.

Before his time with May in Boca Raton, Gilbert spent four seasons at Samford under Scott Padgett as his Director of Basketball Operations. With the Bulldogs, Gilbert helped transform the Bulldog program to new heights, including Samford’s first win over a Big Ten opponent — at Nebraska (69-58; Dec. 20, 2015).

“I couldn’t be more excited to join Coach May’s staff at the University of Michigan,” he said. “I am extremely thankful for the opportunity to work alongside incredible people each day and under the leadership of Coach May. Michigan is a world-class institution, and I am honored to represent such a prestigious university and revered athletic department.”

Watch for more on Michigan basketball in the days to come …

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