Florida Atlantic ushers in Baylor men’s basketball assistant coach John Jakus as next head coach

In 11 seasons as a member of Division I coaching staffs, John Jakus has helped teams post a combined 316-99 record, including a 27-9 postseason park with five Sweet 16 berths, three Elite Eights, two Final Fours and Baylor’s 2020-21 National Championship. Lariat file photo

By Michael Haag | Sports Editor

Florida Atlantic announced on Wednesday that it hired Baylor assistant coach John Jakus as its next head coach. Jakus has been on Bears head coach Scott Drew’s staff for the last seven years.

Jakus takes over an FAU program that recently lost Dusty May, who was hired by Michigan for its head coaching job after six years at the helm for the Owls.

“I’m both honored and humbled to be the head coach at Florida Atlantic University,” Jakus said in an FAU press release. “This program has been in such great hands, and I have a tremendous amount of respect for what Dusty May, his staff, and the players have accomplished. FAU has been one of the best teams in the nation the last two years and I am so fortunate to carry on that tradition.”

The Chicago native signed his agreement on Wednesday — which is reportedly a five-year deal — and he’ll be formally introduced in a press conference on Friday. He joins a long list of Drew assistants who have moved on to head coaching gigs.

Kansas State head coach Jerome Tang was the most recent Drew assistant to be poached, as he was hired on March 21, 2022. Matthew Driscoll (North Florida), Paul Mills (Wichita State) and Grant McCasland (Texas Tech) round out the growing list.

Jakus spent three seasons as director of operations at Gonzaga under Mark Few before being hired by Drew in 2017. The 48-year-old was a graduate assistant under Drew for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons.

John Jakus is now the fifth Scott Drew assistant to move on to a head coaching job elsewhere. Lariat file photo
John Jakus is now the fifth Scott Drew assistant to move on to a head coaching job elsewhere. Lariat file photo

Over those nine seasons with Drew, Jakus helped Baylor compile a 217-86 overall record, including a 100-58 mark in Big 12 play. He also assisted in six NCAA Tournament appearances, two Sweet 16 trips and the 2021 National Championship.

Jakus was given the associate head coach role before the 2022-23 season and held that through the 2023-24 campaign.

“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 Vice President and Director of Athletics Brian White said. “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. John is a tireless worker who cares deeply for his players and has an innate understanding of the current landscape in college athletics. He is a winner and is passionate about doing it the right way.”

Jakus takes over a program that made the NCAA Tournament each of the last two seasons, including the Owls’ first-ever Final Four run last season.

“This is a tremendous time for the men’s basketball team, and I have every confidence John will continue this program’s phenomenal trajectory,” FAU President Stacy Volnick said.

Drew and the Bears are coming off their third straight second-round exit since winning it all in 2021. Drew still has Alvin Brooks III as an associate head coach, and it’s unknown whether assistant coach Jared Nuness or someone else will fill Jakus’ void.