Murken named Minot State men's basketball coach
Minot State University Athletic Director Rick Hedberg introduced Matt Murken as Minot State's 15th head men's basketball coach Wednesday (July 25) during a press conference at MSU.
Murken, a native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is an 11-year veteran of the collegiate coaching ranks and has been the head coach at Jamestown College for the past two seasons.
"We are very pleased to have Matt joining us at Minot State University to lead our men's basketball program," Hedberg said. "He was very impressive in the interview process and comes highly recommended. Matt has a diverse background: he has six years of experience in the Northern Sun as an assistant, one year at a junior college and now two years of experience as a head coach at the college level.
Murken was named the Dakota Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in 2011-12 after leading the Jimmies to a No. 11 national ranking and the NAIA Division II national tournament. He was 46-16 in two seasons at JC, coaching three NAIA All-Americans, the DAC Most Valuable Player and five All-DAC performers.
Minot State received over 80 applications before narrowing down to four on-campus interviews conducted last week. The hiring procedure was pushed forward quickly due to the timing of the open coaching position, but Hedberg was pleased with how the university handled the process.
While Murken indicated he had a long list of things he wants to get accomplished in a short time, he felt getting to know the current Minot State players is paramount.
"Right away I need to build a relationship with our guys," he said. "College basketball is a grind and you have to have that foundation of trust and an expectation level of what I'm going to demand. And, there is a lot of excitement for the jump to the NSIC and to the NCAA and we need to get as many people on board with that."
In 2003, Murken was a graduate assistant at Wayne State College in Wayne, Neb., while pursuing a master's degree. Murken was promoted to assistant coach in 2004 and served as the team's recruiting and academic coordinator. During his time at WSC he successfully recruited the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Freshman of the Year and five NSIC All Conference players in four years. As academic coordinator, his teams had a cumulative GPA of 3.0-plus over a four year span.
Murken spent one season at Des Moines Area Community College, finishing with a 22-7 record in 2009-10 before taking the Jamestown College coaching position.
He holds a Master of Science in education from Wayne State College and a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from Concordia University in Seward, Neb. Murken played basketball for Concordia University, twice being named to the NAIA Academic All-American team.
MSU is a first-year NCAA Division II institution and will begin competing in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference this season.