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June 29, 2013

Ken Murphy Named Lumberjack Head Women’s Volleyball Coach

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Ken Murphy has been hired as the new head coach of the Northern Arizona women's volleyball program, announced today by Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Dr. Lisa Campos. Murphy brings 16 years of coaching experience at the NCAA Division I level with him to Flagstaff.

"We are thrilled to welcome Ken Murphy to the Lumberjack family," said Campos. "His experience as a head coach and his demonstrated commitment to student-athletes exemplify the qualities integral to the Lumberjack culture of excellence. He is passionate about the sport of volleyball and committed to developing student-athletes on and off the court."

Murphy becomes the 11th head volleyball coach in NAU history. He takes over a Lumberjack program that went 24-7 in 2012. The Lumberjacks began the season on an eight-game win streak, including big wins over Colorado, Cornell, and Pennsylvania. NAU finished the season third in the Big Sky Conference.

The Lumberjacks were recognized for their efforts on the court as middle blocker Payton Bock was named Big Sky Outstanding Freshman and earned All-Big Sky First Team honors as four Lumberjacks were were named to the all-conference teams. Senior libero Anna Gott, sophomore middle blocker Sydney Kemper, and freshman outside hitter Janae Vander Ploeg all earned Big Sky Honorable Mention as NAU placed four players on the All-Big Sky teams for the first time since 2002. Gott and Kalee Kirby were also selected to the Big Sky Volleyball Championship All-Tournament Team.

"First of all, I would like to thank Dr. Campos for entrusting me with the leadership of this program. I have a lot of faith in her vision for NAU Athletics and our ability to expand on the past successes of the program," said Murphy.

Murphy recently finished his seventh year at UTEP, where he was named the 2012 Conference USA Coach of the Year. He was the second-most tenured head coach in school history, as he completed his stint with the Miners with an overall record of 82-135, including four Conference USA Tournament appearances. Murphy improved the Miner program over the past few years, as he led UTEP to a 35-26 record over the last two seasons with five players earning All-Conference USA honors. In 2012, Murphy had two student-athletes earn American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Honorable Mention All-America honors. It was the second and third time in school history for the program.

"NAU and Flagstaff offer so many positives for me both personally and professionally," Murphy said. "It's the sort of place that I wish I would have attended college and I'm excited about the opportunity to coach in that environment.  I can't wait to get there and get to work." 

Murphy previously coached at the University of Idaho (2000-05) and Colorado State University (1997-99). 

He received his bachelor's degree from Arizona State in 1992 and master's degree in 1995. Ken and his wife Corie, have two children, Makenna Deborah and Kellan.