Talking with Tormey

 Just got off the phone with new Wyoming defensive coordinator Chris Tormey.

“I think (UW) is clearly a program that’s headed in the right direction,” Tormey said. “(UW coach) Dave Christensen is doing things the right way, and the way I’m comfortable of doing things. I think there’s a lot of upside. There are a lot of good players coming back, and I’m excited about the opportunity to be a coordinator.”

UW finished 8-5 this past season, and played in a bowl game for the second time in Christensen’s three years.

Tormey said he prefers to run a 4-3 base defense, which is what Christensen likes and what UW has used the last two seasons. But it doesn’t sound like that’s all we will see from the defense in 2012.

“I think you have to be multiple,” Tormey said. “I don’t think you can sit in one front all the time and expect to stop everybody on your schedule. You have to have the flexibility to adapt from week-to-week based on who you’re playing.

“The more you can hold up and stop the run in your base front, the better off you’re going to be. On third down you have to do whatever you have to do to get out of the drive. I think you have to be really multiple on third down.”

Christensen and Tormey have known each other for a long time. Christensen was a graduate assistant offensive line coach at Washington from 1988-89 when Tormey was part of the Huskies’ coaching staff. Tormey was a graduate assistant at Washington when Christensen was a player there in the early 1980s.

Tormey will be on the road recruiting next week for UW. He will recruit the states of Washington and Hawaii. He was the linebackers coach at Washington State last season and the safeties and special teams coach at Hawaii from 2009-10. In fact, Tormey said his wife is in the process of wrapping up her job at the University of Hawaii right now.

Tormey also will recruit in the Los Angeles and Sacramento areas in California.

When I asked Tormey about the current make-up of the defensive coaching staff at UW with Marty English going from defensive coordinator and linebackers coach to just coaching linebackers, and Matt Rahl and Danilo Robinson coaching the defensive line, he said: “I know there are three coaches there that have shown the ability to coach at this level. I’m excited about meeting all three of them and working with them. We’ll see how it works out.”

Tormey has yet to see any film on the players he will inherit, but said he watched UW’s 37-15 loss to Temple in the New Mexico Bowl where the Cowboys allowed 255 rushing yards. The team had one of the worst rushing defenses in the country last season with 232 yards per game. Tormey said stopping the run “will be a focus.”

As I put in Thursday’s story in the Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, Christensen followed a similar pattern with this hire as he did with offensive coordinator Gregg Brandon back in February in terms of coaching experience. Tormey will enter his 33rd year of college coaching in 2012.

As we sit now, Christensen enters his 28th year as a college coach and his coordinators enter their 33rd (Tormey) and 31st (Brandon) years, respectively. English enters his 26th year, offensive line coach Pete Kaligis enters his 18th and Rahl and receivers coach Derek Sage both enter their 11th. I like that kind of experience on a coaching staff.

Any thoughts or opinions on this hire?

  • RKR

    Love the hire. I enjoyed watching his Vandal teams over the years. I think this helps build a legitimate defensive strategy and like Brandon, having a former #1 guy in charge will pay dividends. Know this, the guy knew how to beat Boise back then and will love another shot at them. Go Pokes!

  • Steve

    RG,
    I’m very excited on this hire. We needed a change in the D this year, I do like Marty and glad to see he is staying as the LB coach, I think he still brings something to the program from the recuiting side in Colorado. Lets hope we can get some bigger DL and sure up that side for next year.

    Steve

  • K.C.

    RG,

    How do you think things will work out with the former defensive coordinator still on staff? Is English looking to go elsewhere since he’s been demoted?

    Thanks,

    K.C.

    • rgagliardi

      I’m sure Marty is stinging a little bit but he knows that’s part of the profession. He was the only coach from the Glenn era to be retained so he’s seen both sides. Should say something that Christensen kept him. Dave knows Marty is a good coach and good recruiter. As for his future plans only Marty knows that but I don’t expect him to leave or be looking to leave at this point.

      RG

  • Ron smith

    Why am I the only critical one? My guess is Marty didn’t embrace moving to the 4 -3 as quickly as Coach D. In reviewing the year Coach D probably felt that a greater commitment to faster change would have produced greater results. Coach D knows that the rapid change was mostly his doing as well as stripping some defensive talent to the offense. So he stood tall in the saddle and didn’t just dump Marty sharing at least some of the blame. It is only a guess but fan or Alumi pressure in an 8-4 year didn’t require this action from the coach. For Marty its a good deal. In a couple years an assistant position will open in division 1 and he won’t be dispatched to the Dakotes. Going forward the 4-3 will work we just tried to get there too fast. Marty catches the heat but doesn’t lose his career in D-1. With a little luck he may end up like Vic Koenning

  • MJS

    A change with a new defense cordinator was greatly needed. Riley Lange was named the most improved defensive lineman during Spring practice, then he was moved to offense, I do not understand this move. I think he should be moved back to the defensive line where he would be much more effective. The defensive line is the weakest area on the team. Looking forward to the upcoming season. Hopefully the defensive line will be bigger and stronger this year.

    • rgagliardi

      Wouldn’t be surprised if some guys switch positions or move back to former positions next season.

      RG

      • Sean

        Riley Lange and Tyler Strong.