2024-25 Season

How Justin Joyner found ‘alignment’ with Dusty May and Michigan

When Dusty May hired Justin Joyner as an assistant coach, the hire came out of nowhere.

For coaches like Akeem Miskdeen, Drew Williamson, and Kyle Church, who had coached with him at Florida Atlantic at different points, a move to join May’s Michigan staff was fairly expected. But in Joyner, a seven-year assistant coach at Saint Mary’s who had never coached or played outside of California, a lateral transfer to play for May — a coach he had never worked for — was a curveball in the coaching carousel.

That is, if you didn’t know that Joyner was a long-time May fan.

“It just was gonna take something really special with Coach May and just this institution as a whole — it was going to take a real alignment,” Joyner said on the Defend the Block podcast. “And I felt that from our first conversation when Coach called me, I think it was a Saturday midday, and we started talking and I really felt just a real alignment, kind of how we see this coaching mission, leadership mission, in terms of just impacting the lives of young men for the better, and trying to bring out the most in them. And obviously, as we do that, we’re trying to win games at a very high level.”

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