FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – NAU men's basketball head coach Jack Murphy has announced the addition of Wes Pifer to his coaching staff for the coming year. Pifer, who spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach at North Carolina Central University, replaces Al La Rocque, who served on Murphy's staff on an interim basis last season.
"I'm thrilled for the opportunity to work with Coach Murphy and his staff," Pifer said. "I came out last week and was blown away by how beautiful the campus was and the fan support here. NAU is truly a special place and Coach Murphy is a proven winner. I look forward to being a part of the new era of Lumberjack basketball."
Pifer will work with the NAU guards after he oversaw the development of three All-Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) first team selections at NCCU over the last two seasons. The Eagles twice broke the Division-I record for wins in a season during Pifer's tenure while the team totaled a 25-9 mark over the two years in MEAC play.
"Wes is coming to us from another Division-I school and that was a big key," Murphy said. "He's got a great background from junior college, small college, and Division-I and he's coming from a very successful North Carolina Central program. He's done a great job recruiting and coaching on the floor and he's somebody that I've gotten to know over the years and he does a great job. We're excited to have him become part of the Lumberjack family."
Prior to joining the staff at North Carolina Central, Pifer was an assistant coach for two years at St. Andrews University, a Division-II school in Laurinburg, N.C. He was the recruiting coordinator and head coach of the junior varsity team while assuming total team responsibilities, including coaching and developing all players, creating scouting reports, compiling monthly call logs, and communicating with boosters and alumni.
Pifer's first coaching job came at Miami-Dade College during the 2008-09 season where he worked with fellow NAU assistant coach Matt Dunn. The team was ranked No. 7 in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) rankings and recorded a school-record 30 wins. As the perimeter coach at Miami-Dade, Pifer helped numerous student-athletes sign with Division I schools, including Trevor Mbakwe (Minnesota), James Beatty (Rutgers), Will Coleman (Memphis), Darnell Dodson (Kentucky), and Dwan McMillan (Hofstra).
Pifer began his collegiate playing career at Methodist University before playing his final two seasons at Penn State University-Altoona from 2002-04 under the tutelage of former NBA player Armon Gilliam. During his time at PSU-Altoona, Pifer averaged 9.1 points, 5.9 assists and 4.3 rebounds a game for the Division III institution. Pifer played in Europe for BBG Herford in the Germany 2 Regionalliga before returning to PSU-Altoona to complete his Bachelor of Science degree in human development and family studies in 2007.