Northern Arizona Tabs Memphis Assistant Jack Murphy to Lead Basketball Program

Northern Arizona Tabs Memphis Assistant Jack Murphy to Lead Basketball Program





FLAGSTAFF. Ariz. – 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 today, 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 and 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. The class was ranked No. 2 nationally by, No. 2 by and No. 4 by ESPN. The Tigers have signed three more Top 100 players since, including two more 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 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.

A teleconference with Campos and Murphy is scheduled for 4 p.m. today. Murphy will be formally introduced to the Flagstaff community Monday, April 16.

Jack Murphy Year-By-Year

Year School/Team Position Record Postseason Conference/Division
2011-12 Memphis Assistant Coach 26-9 NCAA Tournament Champions
2010-11 Memphis Assistant Coach 25-10 NCAA Tournament 4th Place
2009-10 Memphis Assistant Coach 24-10 NIT 2nd Place
2008-09 Denver Advance Scout 54-28 Conference Finals Champions
2007-08 Denver Advance Scout 50-32 First Round 2nd Place
2006-07 Denver Advance Scout 45-37 First Round 2nd Place
2005-06 Arizona Staff 20-13 NCAA Tournament 4th Place
2004-05 Arizona Staff 30-7 NCAA Tournament Champions
2003-04 Arizona Staff 20-10 NCAA Tournament 3rd Place
2002-03 Arizona Staff 28-4 NCAA Tournament Champions
2001-02 Arizona Staff 24-10 NCAA Tournament 2nd Place
2000-01 Arizona Staff 28-8 NCAA Tournament 2nd Place
1999-00 Arizona Staff 27-7 NCAA Tournament Champions
1998-99 Arizona Staff 22-7 NCAA Tournament 2nd Place
14 Seasons     423-192 (.688) 14 Postseasons 5 Championships


What They Are Saying About Jack Murphy…

"Jack Murphy is a high character and high integrity guy and has a high moral compass. He knows what it takes to win and has been around winning at the highest level.  He has a very good basketball mind and an excellent recruiter and a people's person. He is an energy giver. Northern Arizona University, the athletics department and the Flagstaff community found themselves two gems in the same week in Dr. Lisa Campos and now Jack Murphy as the men's basketball coach."

Josh Pastner, Head Men's Basketball Coach at Memphis




"Jack is an amazing guy. He's coming from a situation where he left his job with the Denver Nuggets to go with Josh Pastner. I think all of that is about the family atmosphere under Lute Olson and continued that with Josh Pastner at Memphis. I think he'll be a young, hard-working head coach and a guy that's going to try and bring that family atmosphere and consistency to NAU. I think that's something positive for the school and the community."

Richard Jefferson, NBA Forward for Golden State Warriors & Former UA Wildcat 



"I think Jack will do a great job. He has a great work ethic, he has a lot of experience from when he was here for eight years at Arizona. He came in as a manager and really put in a lot of work and eventually was able to come with us on the road and help us with recruiting. Along with Josh (Pastner), he was involved with bringing in Chase Budinger and some of the really outstanding people we had. Jack has a really good background, good experience and he's really excited with being back in the West. He'll do a great job, he communicates well with players and he has an extensive background with working with individual players. He'll be well-liked by the community because he's a community person as well."

Lute Olson, Former Head Men's Basketball Coach at UA


"I got hired in my first job in NBA when I was 33 years old and Murph has similar qualities to me. He's very passionate, he's an incredibly hard-working guy and he's a sponge for the knowledge of the game of basketball. I told him that Northern Arizona is a perfect fit. It's at a level where he can have success and he can move quickly. I think the alumni and the university will love his ambition and his passion. He's an engaging guy and he loves to teach basketball. We love him here in Denver and we've tried to get him back ever since he left because we think he's that valuable to an organization. He's just a positive energy guy, a positive influence guy and at the end a good basketball coach."

George Karl, Head Basketball Coach for Denver Nuggets



"Number one, I think he's a great hire for the school just because of the quality of human being he is. I can honestly say if it wasn't for him pushing me in college, I wouldn't be where I am now. His number one trait is his passion for the game. If you have a coach who's passionate about basketball and playing it the right way, you're going to get quality kids who play the game the right way. The respect he's got from earning his way from being a manager at UA to working his way up to a coach, he doesn't cut corners, he puts in the work. Without a doubt he knows the game of basketball. Right now, you've got a guy I'd love to play for if I was coming out of high school."

Channing Frye, NBA Forward for Phoenix Suns & Former UA Wildcat



"I think Coach Murphy is going to be great for NAU. He obviously has some ties to the state of Arizona and Coach Murphy is one of those people that proves that if you're willing to work harder than anyone else, you can succeed in whatever you're goal is. His work ethic and his love for the game has made him a great career in basketball so far. He's one of those guys that is up early ready to work and staying up late looking at game films and doing whatever he can to give his team the best opportunity to win. On a personal note, he played a major role in helping me reach my goal of becoming an NBA player. He's going to be a great fit for NAU."

Luke Walton, NBA Forward for Cleveland Cavaliers & Former UA Wildcat


"Murph is a tireless worker who prides himself on hard work, dedication and dignity. He will be a tremendous asset to NAU."

Chauncey Billups, NBA Guard for Los Angeles Clippers & Former Denver Nugget