Northern Arizona's Jack Murphy leaving to help coach University of Arizona basketball

Jack Murphy
Posted at 7:32 PM, Jun 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-02 23:22:44-04

TUCSON, AZ — Northern Arizona basketball coach Jack Murphy is leaving the Lumberjacks to become the associate head coach at Arizona, his alma mater.

"It's very exciting to welcome back Jack Murphy and his family to the University of Arizona," Arizona coach Sean Miller said in a statement Sunday. "Jack combines invaluable head coaching experience, recruiting at the national level of college basketball, and an NBA pedigree. More importantly, Jack brings a love for Arizona Basketball and our community like no one that I have met in coaching. He is a tremendous person, a caring family man, and an outstanding coach. All of us in our program look forward to working with him as we prepare for an exciting year ahead."

Murphy spent the past seven seasons as Northern Arizona's coach, but was entering the final year of his contract.

The Lumberjacks set a school record with 23 wins in 2014-15 before injuries started to take a huge toll.

Northern Arizona won 19 combined games over three seasons from 2015-18 before taking a step forward with 10 wins last season. He went 78-149 in Flagstaff.

Shane Burcar will serve as NAU's interim coaching heading into next season. Northern Arizona plays at Arizona on Nov. 6.

Murphy graduated from Arizona and started his coaching career as a student manager under Lute Olson. He went on to server a variety of positions at Arizona from 1998-2006 before becoming an assistant coach under former Arizona player Josh Pastner at Memphis.

"I am very excited to be back at the University of Arizona," Murphy said. "The great part about Arizona Basketball is that you never leave the family. You're just returning home after a long vacation to get to work to help Coach Miller achieve all the goals he has set for Arizona. I just can't wait to get started.