Northern Arizona University Athletic Director Mike Marlow announced this week that Chris Ball will be the new football coach for the Lumberjacks.
Ball, who will be the 30th head coach in Lumberjack history, was previously the defensive coordinator at the University of Memphis. Marlow said Ball’s coaching experience, which includes stints at Arizona State, Washington State and Alabama demonstrate the ability to effectively recruit in Arizona and throughout the West Coast.
“President Cheng provided very clear direction—find the best football coach for NAU who is genuinely dedicated to the student-athletes he coaches, mentors and guides through this important time in their lives,” Marlow said. “Additionally, she asked that I find someone who can still the blueprint and culture necessary to make NAU football a sustainable championship contender. In Chris Ball, I am confident that we have achieved the president’s goal.”
Marlow hired Ball after an extensive, three-week search that included the use of a professional consultant; he considered an extensive list of interested candidates. Ball replaces longtime coach Jerome Souers, who is taking on a new role focused on athletic fundraising and Native American initiatives.