Murphy Names Assistant Coaches for Northern Arizona Staff
"Being my first head coaching job, I really went back and forth about what I needed in terms of the makeup of the staff," said Murphy. "I finally decided I needed three men that have the same values I share in terms of ethics and morals but were also are compliments to me in other areas. They all bring youth, energy and excitement which will be the hallmark of our staff."
Riley returns to the Northern Arizona bench for the second time in his career after coaching the 2006-07 season at NAU. Riley most recently served as the Head Coach at Palo Verde High School in Las Vegas for the last four seasons. Palo Verde won or shared three straight NW Region titles from 2008-11 and was the Nevada 4A State Championship runner-up in 2008-09. Riley was named Nevada 4A Coach of the Year after the 2009 and 2010 seasons. He was named the 1994 Big Sky Freshman of the Year and averaged 10 points and four assists per game as a Lumberjack.
"Jermone was one of my first priorities when I got the job," said Murphy. "He is a former Big Sky Freshman of the Year here at NAU and has been a former assistant coach for the Lumberjacks. He is an outstanding coach and I have known him for a very long time. He is passionate about teaching young men about basketball and life. He and his wife are looking forward to returning to Flagstaff."
Dunn worked on Josh Pastner's staff with Murphy for the last three seasons, serving the last two as the Assistant Director of Operations. He oversaw the Tigers' basketball web site, www.insidememphisbasketball.com. The site provided inside glimpses into the Memphis hoops program, along with behind-the-scenes footage and messages from Pastner. Dunn also was involved with other areas of the program's operations side. He began his coaching career at Miami Dade College as an assistant in 2008-09, coaching seven players that transferred to NCAA Division I schools, including Will Coleman of Memphis and Trevor Mbakwe of Minnesota.
"Matt Dunn was with me at the University of Memphis," said Murphy. "He brings a wealth of knowledge and background in the junior college game. He has great experience working with the big men and will handle those duties here at NAU. He is a hard worker and is dedicated to the student-athletes, the team and his profession. He has coached some of the best players in college basketball."
Sfera, a Southern California native, comes to NAU from the University of Virginia where he worked under Head Coach Tony Bennett as the Basketball Technology Assistant. He helped the Cavalier program advance to the NCAA Tournament in 2012 for the first time since 2007 while assisting in the day-to-day operations including opponent scouting, film exchange, recruiting, community and alumni outreach, and camp. Sfera has expertise with several sport technology programs such as SportsTec and Synergy Sports Technology. He also worked under Coach Jack Murphy on the Memphis staff in 2009-10 where he served as the head student manager, helping the Tigers to a NIT appearance.
"Vic joins us from the University of Virginia after helping Coach Tony Bennett," said Murphy. "He has gone through a lot in his young life and has always come out on top. He is very polished and can handle the many different hats that come with being an assistant coach. He adds value on the court because of the great coaches he has been around and will be valuable off the court in the daily operations of the program."