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Chris Tormey (born May 1, 1955 in Omahamarker, Nebraskamarker) is an Americanmarker football coach. Formerly the head coach at Idaho and Nevada, he is currently an assistant at Hawaii, coaching the special teams. Tormey was a longtime assistant coach at Washington, serving from 1984-94 and 2004-08.

Early years

Tormey grew up in Spokanemarker and attended high school at Gonzaga Prepmarker. He played college football at the University of Idahomarker in Moscowmarker, where he was an all-conference (Big Sky) linebacker (1976-77) and three-year letter winner for the Vandals under head coach Ed Troxel. He received a bachelor's degree in education in 1978.

Assistant coach - (1980-94)

Tormey had a brief stop with the Washington Redskins of the NFL, then began his coaching career as a high school assistant back at Gonzaga Prepmarker, where he also taught geography. In 1980 his collegiate coaching career began as a graduate assistant at Washington in Seattlemarker, a position he left in 1982 to coach the defensive line at his alma mater, serving under newly-hired Idaho Vandals' head coach Dennis Erickson.

After two years on the Palouse, Tormey returned to the Huskies in Seattlemarker, where he would remain for 11 seasons, 1984-94, coaching tight ends, linebackers, and the secondary for Don James and Jim Lambright. UW shared the national championship (with Miami) in 1991. For the 1994 season Tormey was named acting defensive coordinator.

Idaho - (1995-99)

Following the 1994 season, John L. Smith left Idaho and Tormey returned to Moscowmarker to succeed him as head coach. Tormey's first season in 1995 was the Vandals' last in the Big Sky and Division I-AA; Idaho joined the Big West in Division I-A in 1996.

In his five seasons at the helm in Moscow, Tormey compiled a 33-23 record (.589), including the Vandals' first-ever bowl appearance, in the 1998 Humanitarian Bowl, a 42-35 victory over Southern Mississippimarker. The Vandals earned the bowl berth by winning the Big West title with a dramatic one-point overtime win over rival Boise State, on the road in Bronco Stadiummarker in Boisemarker. The bowl victory propelled Idaho to an impressive 9-3 record in 1998, their third season in Division I-A. Tormey was named Coach of the Year in the Big West conference.

The Vandals went 7-4 in 1999, including a 28-17 win over neighboring Washington State, eight miles (13 km) to the west. It was Idaho's first football victory over the Cougars since 1965 in the Battle of the Palouse.

Nevada - (2000-03)

Following the 1999 season, Tormey moved south to Renomarker to coach the Nevada Wolf Pack, which was leaving the Big West to join the WAC. Tormey was the head coach for four seasons (2000-03), compiling a 16-31 record (.340). He succeeded Jeff Tisdel, a former All-American quarterback for the Wolf Pack. While Tormey's win totals improved each season (2,3,5,6), he was released from the fifth and final season of his contract at the end of the 2003 season, the final game marked by a 56-3 blowout loss at Boise State. Most notably, Tormey failed to defeat bitter in-state rival UNLV in the annual Battle for the Fremont Cannon, but his Nevada team did defeat the Washington Huskies 28-17 in Seattlemarker that final season. Nevada's athletic director Chris Ault hired himself to succeed Tormey, his third stint as head coach of the Wolf Pack.

Back to Washington - (2004-08)

Tormey was quickly rehired at Washington in 2004 as a defensive assistant under head coach Keith Gilbertson, and stayed on with the new coach Tyrone Willingham, becoming the recruiting coordinator.

Hawai'i - (2009-)

Following the dismissal of Willingham after Washington's winless 2008 season, Tormey joined head coach Greg McMackin at Hawai'i as an assistant coach for the 2009 season.

Head coaching record


  1. Hawaii - football - Chris Tormey - accessed 2009-10-09
  2. College Football Data - Chris Tormey - head coaching record - accessed 2009-10-09

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