Sean Miller has hired yet another former head coach to help him prowl the Arizona Wildcats sidelines.
This time it’s Jack Murphy, who was currently the head coach for the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks before being announced as Arizona’s new associate head coach Sunday night.
“It’s very exciting to welcome back Jack Murphy and his family to the University of Arizona,” Miller said in a statement. “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.”
Before the news was announced by the school, Richard Jefferson and Jason Terry shared their thoughts on Murphy returning to Tucson.
Hey @APlayersProgram I’m so excited that Jack Murphy is joining the staff. @NAUcoachMurphy was so instrumental in the development of so many Az players like Iggy, Luke, Channing and myself!!! He’s a huge add for the program great job Sean Miller— Richard Jefferson (@Rjeff24) June 3, 2019
@NAUcoachMurphy congrats on becoming the new Associate head coach @APlayersProgram I’m proud of you and wish you continued success. great hire. #BearDown— Jason Terry (@jasonterry31) June 3, 2019
Murphy graduated from Arizona in 2002 and worked under Lute Olson for eight years in varying capacities including: team manager, recruiting coordinator, administrative assistant, video coordinator and director of operations. He then went on to work for the Denver Nuggets and Memphis Tigers before becoming the head coach at NAU.
“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.”
In Flagstaff, Murphy had a record of 78-149 over seven seasons. This included a run to the CollegeInsider.com Tournament Championship Game in 2015, the only winning season NAU had under Murphy. Since then, the Lumberjacks have failed to win more than ten games in a season.
NAU has promoted Shane Burcar to interim head coach with Murphy’s departure. This has not made NAU legend Commander King very happy.
Unreal nonsense happening with @NAUBasketball right now. There were a number of quality assistants that I KNOW would’ve been interested in this job had this gone the way it should have back in March and now we get this guy leaving #LumberjackNation in the lurch. #FreakinLivid— Commander King (@CoachKing33) June 3, 2019
What kind of guy is coming home?— Arizona Basketball (@APlayersProgram) June 3, 2019
“Having Murph back at Arizona is fantastic. His loyalty, high character and basketball knowledge are going to be a tremendous asset to Sean and OUR program! I couldn’t be more excited today, and for the future of Arizona Basketball.” -- @Rjeff24 pic.twitter.com/JL2oqhNIN8