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Northern Arizona's Murphy able to navigate steep learning curve in first season as head coach

Northern Arizona's Jack Murphy was as prepared as he could be for his first stint as a head coach.

He still wasn't ready for everything that came at him in a job that requires an awful lot of on-the-job training.

The 33-year-old Murphy was named Northern Arizona's coach last year after stints under Arizona's Lute Olson, Denver Nuggets coach George Karl and Memphis' Josh Pastner.

Even with all that knowledge, Murphy still had a learning curve in Flagstaff, from the pressure of making split-second calls during games to off-the-court decisions that aren't always easy.

He managed to handle it well, more than doubling the Lumberjacks' win total from the previous season while leading them to the Big Sky tournament.