Chris Tormey Joins Wyoming Football Coaching Staff

Dec. 28, 2011

LARAMIE, Wyo. - Chris Tormey has joined the Wyoming Football coaching staff as the defensive coordinator and secondary coach. The announcement was made by University of Wyoming head football coach Dave Christensen on Wednesday after Tormey officially signed his contract.

Tormey will be entering his 33rd season as a college coach in 2012. Included in his previous 32 seasons of coaching experience are nine seasons of head-coaching experience at the NCAA Division I level at the University of Idaho and University of Nevada. While at Idaho, he led the Vandals to their first-ever bowl appearance in 1998, earning conference Coach-of-the-Year honors that season.

As an assistant coach at the University of Washington in 1991, he helped guide the Huskies to the 1991 National Championship. He comes to Wyoming from Washington State University where he was the linebackers' coach in 2011. He coached senior linebacker Alex Hoffman-Ellis to Second Team All-Pacific 12 honors this past season.

"We feel very fortunate to be able to add a coach of Chris' (Tormey's) experience to our staff," Christensen said. "He has been both a head coach and a defensive coordinator during his career, and is recognized as a talented recruiter. We look forward to him joining our staff in January."

"I couldn't be more excited about this opportunity to join the Wyoming Cowboys," Tormey said. "The program is clearly on the rise under the leadership of Coach (Dave) Christensen. I'm looking forward to the challenges ahead as we work together to take the next step towards a Mountain West Conference Championship."

Prior to this past season at Washington State, Tormey coached the safeties and special teams at the University of Hawai'i for two seasons in 2009 and 2010.

Tormey served as the linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of Washington from 2004-08, his second stint on the Husky staff. Over that five-year period, Tormey had four recruiting classes ranked in the Top 35 nationally, including the 2008 class, which was ranked No. 14 in the nation by one national recruiting site.

Before returning to the University of Washington, Tormey served as the head coach at the University of Nevada for four seasons from 2000-03. He compiled a 16-31 (.340) record in his four seasons as the Wolf Pack moved into the Western Athletic Conference from the Big West. Each year, his teams improved their win total, culminating in a 6-6 mark during his final season of 2003. In that 2003 season, Tormey led the Wolf Pack to bowl-eligible status, with wins over Washington (28-17 in Seattle) and bowl teams Tulsa (28-21 in Tulsa) and Hawaii (24-14 in Reno).

Tormey earned his first head-coaching position at his alma mater, the University of Idaho, in 1995. He would lead the Vandals to four winning seasons in five years and compile a 33-23 (.589) record. During his tenure as head coach, Idaho made the move from the NCAA I-AA level to the I-A level. He guided Idaho to its first bowl appearance, a Humanitarian Bowl victory over Southern Mississippi in 1998. That year, he was named the Big West Conference Coach of the Year and led the Vandals to a 9-3 mark, which included an overtime win over rival Boise State. Additionally, he was named the Big West/Mid-American/NCAA I-A Independent Coach of the Year by The Sporting News in `98. Tormey posted a 3-2 record versus Boise State in his five seasons as head coach at Idaho. During his final year as head coach in 1999, the Vandals broke school attendance records by averaging more than 25,000 per home game.

His first stint as an assistant coach at Washington began in 1984. For the next 11 years, ending with the 1994 season, he coached tight ends, outside linebackers, and the secondary at various times and served as defensive coordinator for his final two seasons. He began his coaching career at Washington under legendary Husky head coach Don James. He assumed the duties of acting defensive coordinator during the 1993 season, and in 1994 was named to that position permanently by then head coach Jim Lambright. During his tenure as an assistant, the Huskies appeared in 10 bowl games and won the 1991 National Championship.

His first full-time college coaching position was as defensive line coach at his alma mater, Idaho, from 1982-83.

Tormey began his college coaching career in 1980 as a graduate assistant at Washington from 1980-81.

A native of Omaha, Neb., Tormey grew up in Spokane, Wash., where he attended Gonzaga Prep. Tormey was a linebacker at Idaho from 1975-77, and earned All-Big-Sky Conference honors in 1976-77. As a senior, he served as team captain before earning a degree in education from Idaho in 1978.

Following his graduation, he signed a free-agent contract with the Washington Redskins.

Tormey and his wife, Kellie, have two daughters, Leah and Emily.

The Cowboy defensive coaching staff entering 2012 will include: Marty English, Linebackers' Coach; Matt Rahl, Defensive Line Coach; and Danilo Robinson, Defensive Line Coach. Former Wyoming secondary coach Alex Grinch recently accepted a position at the University of Missouri to coach the Tiger safeties.

Chris Tormey's Year-by-Year Coaching History
(Year - School - Position)
2012 - Wyoming - Defensive Coordinator/Secondary
2011 - Washington State - Linebackers' Coach
2009-10 - Hawaii - Safeties' Coach/Special Teams
2004-08 - Washington - Linebackers' Coach/Recruiting Coordinator
2000-03 - Nevada - Head Coach
1995-99 - Idaho - Head Coach
1993-94 - Washington - Defensive Coordinator
1984-92 - Washington - Tight Ends' Coach/Linebackers' Coach/Secondary
1982-83 - Idaho - Defensive Line Coach
1980-81 - Washington - Graduate Assistant
1978-79 - Gonzaga Prep - Assistant Coach