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NAU Basketball

Northern Arizona head coach Jack Murphy speaks with the Lumberjacks during a timeout in the second half against San Diego Christian at Rolle Activity Center this past season.

Looking within the state to fill an opening on its coaching staff, Northern Arizona is hiring Mesa High School head coach Shane Burcar as an assistant under head coach Jack Murphy.

“It’s the logical next step for him to take that and go to Division I, and we are so excited for him to be part of our community and our family,” Murphy said. “There’s just no doubt that it’s a great step for him and a great step for us.”

Burcar replaces Matt Dunn, who leaves Northern Arizona after spending the past six years on the coaching staff. Dunn stood as the last of Murphy’s original assistants, joining the Lumberjacks from Memphis as well and primarily working with the team’s frontcourt.

Spending more than a decade with the Jackrabbits, Burcar’s tenure with Mesa was highlighted by a Division I state title in 2016. Entering as the No. 2 seed, Burcar and the Jackrabbits finished that regular season 15-3 overall. This past year, Mesa finished 14-4 and continued its run of AIA playoff appearances.

During Burcar’s tenure at Mesa, multiple players went on to play at the D-I level. Aaron Fuller played at USC, Donte Medder and Blondy Baruti went on to play for Tulsa, and Jahii Carson spent two seasons at Arizona State.

“At Mesa Mountain View, coach Gary Ernst has done an amazing job. You look at Dobson, McClintock, there’s just great high school programs in that area and what Coach Burcar has been able to do there at Mesa is nothing short of amazing,” Murphy said. “He’s had great leadership from his administration there, but he’s also rolled his sleeves up and gotten it done.”


Sports Reporter

Cody Bashore serves as the beat writer for Northern Arizona University basketball and football in addition to covering high school sports around Flagstaff for the Arizona Daily Sun.

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