FAU hires Baylor assistant John Jakus as head coach

League: NCAA Basketball

Posted on: 28 Mar, 2024 at 04:17 AM

Credit: Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports

After working a dozen years for two of the most successful programs in the nation, John Jakus is getting a shot to lead his own program.

Florida Atlantic announced Wednesday that it hired Jakus as its head basketball coach. Terms of the deal weren't revealed, but Jakus received a five-year contract, according to multiple media reports.

Jakus, 48, takes over the Owls after spending the last 12 years at Baylor and Gonzaga. After joining the Bears as a graduate assistant for two seasons, he moved to Gonzaga to serve as the director of basketball operations under head coach Mark Few. In 2017, he rejoined Baylor as an assistant coach under Scott Drew.

The Bulldogs reached the national championship game in Jakus' tenure in 2017 and the Bears won the national championship in 2021. In his 12 seasons as a Division I coach, Jakus has seen his teams appear in five Sweet 16s, three Elite Eights and two Final Fours with the one national championship.

"When we began this search, we spoke to coaches, athletic directors, administrators, scouts, and agents, and the name that kept coming up with glowing reviews was John Jakus," FAU athletic director Brian White said in a press release. "He checks so many boxes in what we're looking for to enhance and build on the momentum in our program. His pedigree, learning from two of the greatest coaches in the game today, is unmatched."

The Owls made a surprising run to the Final Four as a No. 9 seed last season under head coach Dusty May, losing on a buzzer-beater to San Diego State in a national semifinal. FAU began this season ranked No. 10 and got as high as No. 7.

Finishing the 2023-24 regular season with a 25-8 record, the Owls were seeded eighth in the East Region but fell 77-65 in overtime to No. 9 seed Northwestern in the first round on Friday.

Prior to the back-to-back appearances, FAU had made only one NCAA Tournament in its history.

Earlier this week, May was hired as Michigan's new head coach.

A Chicago native, Jakus coached high school ball in Cincinnati before stints as head coach with Athletes in Action and pro teams in Macedonia and Bulgaria prior to joining Baylor for the first time in 2012.

FAU will introduce Jakus at a news conference on Thursday.

--Field Level Media