Jack Murphy, assistant men's basketball coach at the University of Memphis, has been named head men's basketball coach for Northern Arizona University.
Lisa Campos, vice president for Intercollegiate Athletics, announced the selection Thursday, pending approval by the Arizona Board of Regents.
"Jack is an exceptional addition to NAU athletics and brings a strong recruiting presence that will attract outstanding talent to the program," Campos said. "Jack is committed to the university's excellence in academics and athletics, and under his leadership the Lumberjacks will emerge as a competitive force in the Big Sky."
Murphy's experience at various levels of the game, recruiting success and knowledge gained from working with college and professional athletes make him an excellent fit for NAU, Campos said.
His career includes working for three successful programs that have a combined 400 wins, 14 postseason appearances and five championships.
"The addition of Lisa Campos and Jack Murphy signals a new era in NAU athletics," said NAU President John Haeger. "Their experience and enthusiasm will play a key role in engaging students, alumni and the community."
Both will ensure the continued academic success of NAU's student athletes, Haeger added.
"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 joined the coaching staff at Memphis under men's basketball coach Josh Pastner in 2009, a team that has posted a 75-29 record with three 20-win seasons. During Murphy's tenure, Memphis earned a Conference USA regular season title, two Conference USA Tournament Championships.
Murphy, who handled the Tiger defensive efforts this season, was the lead assistant on a staff that guided the team to a sweep of the Conference USA titles while posting the 10th-best field goal percentage defense in the country.
Murphy, 32, was instrumental in Memphis securing a Top-5 recruiting class in 2010 featuring four players ranked among the nation's Top 100 and two McDonald's All-Americans.
Prior to Memphis, Murphy spent three years working with the Denver Nuggets under the NBA's active wins leader George Karl and eight years where he served as an advance scout for the team. During his time, he gained a reputation as one of the league's top "workout" trainers, working with the likes of NBA All-stars Allen Iverson, Chauncey Billups and Carmelo Anthony, along with rising NBA star J.R. Smith.
Murphy spent eight years (1998-2006) in Tucson with Pastner on Lute Olson's staff at Arizona as a team manager, recruiting coordinator, administrative assistant, video coordinator and director of operations. The Wildcats made eight consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, reaching the national title contest in 2001. Arizona also posted 20 or more wins in each of Murphy's eight years with the program.
Murphy takes over a Northern Arizona program that went 5-24 in 2011-12 under Mike Adras and Interim Coach Dave Brown. Brown took over the program on Dec. 9, coaching the final 20 games of the season.
Murphy will be formally introduced to the Flagstaff community Monday.
GOLDEN EAGLE AWARDS
Golden Eagle Distributors, Inc., honored 174 Northern Arizona University student-athletes on Thursday for their scholastic and athletic accomplishments at the 34th annual Golden Eagle Awards. The Golden Eagle Awards recognize NAU student-athletes who have made significant contributions to the Lumberjack athletics program while maintaining a minimum of a 3.0 grade point average.
The Male Senior Scholar-Athlete of the Year was presented to senior track and field athlete Pascal Tang, while distance runner Kortnee Burton and swimmer Kristin Jones were named the Co-Female Senior Scholar Athletes of the Year.
Tang, a thrower from Leverkusen, Germany, has a 3.64 grade point average. He graduates with degrees in marketing, finance, and management in May. He has earned Big Sky All-Academic honors three times (2008-09, 2011) and was named to the 2011 Division I All-Academic Track and Field Team by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) for his academic efforts in the 2010-11 school year. He was named an honorable mention All-American for his participation in the hammer throw at the 2011 NCAA Outdoor National Championships. He was the 2012 Big Sky Indoor Champion in the weight throw, adding a third career conference win to go along with a title outdoors in the hammer throw (2009) and a weight throw title indoors as a freshman (2008).
Burton, who graduates with a degree in visual communication in May with a 3.75 grade point average, is a three-time Academic All-Big Sky selection (2008-09, 2011). She was named to the 2011 Division I All-Academic Track and Field Team by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) for her academic efforts in the 2010-11 school year. The Brea, Calif., native is a two-time All-Big Sky and All-Mountain Region honoree for cross country, including dual top-three finishes at the 2009 and 2011 Big Sky Cross Country Championships.
Jones, a senior from Juneau, Alaska, is scheduled to graduate in May with a double major in psychology and sociology with a 3.76 grade point average. She is a three-time Academic All-WAC selection and four-time Golden Eagle Scholar-Athlete award recipient. Jones competed in three events and one time trial at the 2012 WAC Championship, advancing to the final in both the 500 freestyle and 400 individual medley. She finished her career with four All-WAC second team honors.
The football program led the list with 39 student-athletes garnering Golden Eagle status, while the women's track and field program had 32 selections. The men's track and field program and swimming and diving programs had 21 student-athletes earn Golden Eagle status, while the soccer program had 20.
The first Golden Eagle Awards were presented at NAU in the spring of 1979 to honor athletes who maintained high levels of scholastic achievement while performing with distinction in the university's athletic programs. During the past 33 years, more than 2,000 Golden Eagle Awards have been presented. Former Golden Eagle Award winners have since gone on to distinguish themselves in all walks of life, carrying on the fine personal tradition of excellence embodied in these coveted awards.
Due to a possible snowstorm, the Northern Arizona soccer team's spring soccer game against Grand Canyon on Saturday will be cancelled. The game will not be rescheduled.
With the cancellation, the Lumberjacks have one spring game left on their schedule. The Lumberjacks will host Arizona next Saturday, April 21, at 11:30 a.m. at Lumberjack Stadium. The game will also be broadcast live on Fox Sports Arizona.