Ask many around Arizona and they’ll tell you Northern Arizona University is one of the best kept secrets in the state.
NAU offers a nice college town in Flagstaff, recently renovated or newly build dorms and four seasons of weather-including snow activities in the winter.
Now the Lumberjacks also believe they are well on their way in athletics, as well.
Earlier this week the NAU men captured their second-consecutive Big Sky All-Sports Trophy while the Lady ‘Jacks finished second Sacramento State. Points are awarded based on regular-season standings in men’s basketball, women’s basketball, soccer, football, softball, tennis and volleyball. In cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field, and women’s golf, all-sports points are awarded by basis of finish in the Big Sky Championship.
“We’re so proud of our student-athletes,” Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Dr. Lisa Campos told Sports360AZ.com’s Brad Cesmat in a phone interview Wednesday morning. “There are so many moments to be proud of.”
At the top of the list could be the job head coach Jack Murphy did leading the NAU men’s basketball team to the finals of the CIT Tournament and 23 wins. No team in program history has advanced deeper than Murphy’s balanced squad.
“It was such a phenomenal season,” Campos explained. “For us to have a couple nationally televised games…to be in the championship game it really brought this community together. Jack isn’t afraid to play anybody. He knows he wants to prepare his team for conference play.”
Next season the Lumberjacks schedule features college hoops heavyweights Arizona and Gonzaga.
Head football coach Jerome Souers’ schedule this fall features reigning Pac-12 South Champion UofA with other road tests at Montana and Eastern Washington. The ‘Jacks will have former Chaparral High star and Wildcat transfer Connor Brewer behind center with a handful of talented wide receivers and what appears to be an improved defense coming off a 7-5 2014 which included a late-season four-game win streak.
“Jerome and his staff have done it right in terms of going after the [prep] kids from Arizona,” Campos said. “They’ve proven to do such a great job for us.”
She also said NAU features “some of the best facilities in the conference” and stressed the University will continue to look to improve these areas in the coming years for continued success academically and athletically.
Good times in the cool pines indeed.