The wait and the search is finally over -- Northern Arizona has a new head basketball coach.
Today, NAU announced that Memphis assistant coach Jack Murphy would be named their head basketball coach.
"It's an honor to be given this position, especially at this critical recruiting time," Murphy said. "This is a program that has a rich tradition, has had past success, and I look to build on that success. I hope to be there along the way as we grow together as a university and as a basketball program."
Murphy is 32 years old, and spent the last three seasons as an assistant coach at Memphis. Before that, he spent three years as an assistant coach of the Denver Nuggets, and was on the staff at Arizona prior to that. The fact that he has recent experience both in the NBA and at a solid NCAA program seems to make this a good hire for the Lumberjacks.
A lot of smart basketball people have very good things to say about Murphy, which certainly had to make NAU's decision easier.
Murphy's job will not be easy -- NAU is coming off of a disastrous 5-24 season, and there has been rumors of players transferring. His first step will be to keep the current players here, and then he needs to make quick work in the recruiting world, since it is already mid-April.
We thought they would need a young, energetic coach to turn this around and get some excitement back in the program, which was clearly lacking last season, and Murphy seems like a good guy to be able to do that. I am excited to see how he does. He will be one of three new head coaches in the Big Sky next season.
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