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Arizona retaining Jack Murphy as associate head coach, a sensible move for many reasons

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Northern Arizona v Arizona Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images

The Arizona Wildcats announced Monday that they are retaining Jack Murphy as associate head coach.

Knowing he’s an outsider, new head coach Tommy Lloyd said at his introductory press conference that his staff would have “Arizona flavor” and Murphy certainly checks that box. He’s been UA’s associate head coach since 2019-20, was a versatile staffer under Lute Olson for eight seasons, and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Arizona.

Retaining Murphy also makes sense because he has college head coaching experience—he led the NAU program for seven seasons—and can help Lloyd, a first-time head coach, handle some of the responsibilities that job entails.

Like Lloyd, Murphy also has a reputation for being an international recruiter, helping the Wildcats land Kerr Kriisa and Azuolas Tubelis. While Lloyd said Arizona won’t totally rely on international recruiting, that should be a major strength of the new staff.

Kriisa entered the transfer portal last week and Murphy’s hiring probably helps Arizona’s chances of retaining him and other players who are considering following Sean Miller out the door.

It remains to be seen if Arizona will retain other members of Miller’s staff, Jason Terry obviously being the assistant UA fans are interested in the most.