Ken Murphy enters his third season at the helm of the Northern Arizona volleyball program after he was hired as the 11th head volleyball coach in Lumberjack history on July 1, 2013.
In 2014, Murphy led NAU to a 21-8 overall record and the Lumberjacks finished the season in the Big Sky semifinals after posting an 11-5 record in conference play. The 2014 team was one of the most dominant in school history, as they finished the season in the top three in the Big Sky Conference in every statistical category including ranking first in hitting percentage, opponent hitting percentage, assists and blocks. NAU set a new school record with a .246 hitting percentage and were top 10 nationally with a .147 opponent hitting percentage and 2.96 blocks per set. Behind All-Big Sky First Team honorees Sydney Kemper and Janae Vander Ploeg and Second Team selection Jensen Barton, the Lumberjacks raced out to a 9-0 start, just the program's third such streak to open a season, on their way to their fourth 20-win season in school history. The Lumberjacks also posted a 10-1 record at home, tying the school record for best home win percentage (.909) for the third time in history.
His first year in Flagstaff was a success as he guided the Lumberjacks to a 19-11 record, equaling the fourth-most victories in a single season in school history. Murphy led NAU to a 13-7 record in the Big Sky Conference and the Lumberjacks earned the fourth-seed in the Big Sky Championships while matching the school record for home victories with 11. He continued the maturation of Janae Vander Ploeg, who was named to the All-Big Sky First Team as a sophomore, and helped coach Sydney Kemper to a second team All-Conference nod after switching positions. Murphy instilled resiliency in a young team that returned just three starters and they posted several big victories including a season sweep of Idaho State, the eventual Big Sky Champions, a three-set sweep of San Diego State, an NCAA Tournament team from the year prior, and handing Portland State and North Dakota their first conference losses of the season at home. Under his tutelage, the Lumberjacks finished 2013 as one of two teams to rank in the top-six in the conference in every statistical category.
Murphy arrived at NAU after seven years at UTEP, where he was named the 2012 Conference USA Coach of the Year in his final season. 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 his last two seasons, as he led UTEP to a 35-26 record 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.
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.