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Thoughts On The Hire Of Chris Tormey As Wyoming Defensive Coordinator

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Chris Tormey
Chris Tormey

It was finally made official today by the University of Wyoming that Chris Tormey is the new defensive coordinator and secondary coach. Tormey replaces Marty English as DC and takes over secondary spot that Alex Grinch left when he was hired by Missouri. English is no longer the defensive coordinator but will stick in Laramie and continue to coach the linebackers.

Tormey joins the Cowboys after spending a year at Washington State as their linebackers coach. Prior to that he spent the previous two seasons at Hawaii coaching the secondary and specials teams. From 2004-2008 he was the linebacker coach/recruiting coordinator for the University of Washington. He also has experience as a head coach at Nevada and Idaho.

So what do we think of the hire?

I would have to say that Tormey is a solid hire but not necessarily the obvious slam dunk that Gregg Brandon was last winter. Certainly the performance on the field is what will matter, right now I'm happy with the staff that Dave Christensen is putting together.

Let's first review what most would view as negatives on Tormey's resume:

  • 16-31 record in four season as the head coach of Nevada.
  • Only one previous season as a defensive coordinator.

At Nevada Tormey actually had his teams improve their record every year with their best finish being 6-6 in 2003. His downfall was off the field incidents that tarnished the program. Nine athletes that he recruited were arrested for felony charges over a year and a half span in Reno. Those arrests ran the gamut of robbery, drug charges and battery.

Positives for Chris Tormey

  • Head coaching experience (32-23 record at Idaho with four winning seasons).
  • 32 years of experience as a college coach.
  • Great recruiter: Had four recruiting classes ranked in the top 35 nationally in a five year span.
  • Diverse background: Has coached defensive line, linebackers, secondary and specials previously.
  • Prefers a 4-3 scheme which Wyoming already employs.


The losing record at Nevada doesn't really concern me. We're not asking him to be a head coach here, just take care of the defense. Some coaches are better at being coordinators and positional coaches.

The arrests of his players certainly is concerning but that tag has not followed him since he left Nevada. Coach Christensen is a no nonsense coach that is not afraid to discipline his players if they break the rules. He hasn't brought in any questionable athletes and I don't see him starting now.

Alex Grinch had done a great job at recruiting Texas in his three years at Wyoming and will be missed. Wyoming needs to keep it's impressive recruiting results and Tormey is perfect for that. He won't cover Texas but he has tons of recruiting connections in Washington and Hawaii. Those will be his main territories along with Sacramento and Los Angeles.

The Cowboys certainly need to keep recruiting Texas but also continue the gains they've had recruiting in Washington. Wyoming has had limited success in recruiting in California under Christensen. It will be exciting to see him hit the recruiting trail next week and what new offers Wyoming extends to athletes.

There weren't really any other candidates that were named for the position but it certainly seems like a solid hire for Wyoming. After starting off with a very young coaching staff initially Christensen has formed a veteran staff that includes two former head coaches.