In January, 2011, Chris Tormey joined the Cougar Football staff as linebackers coach. Tormey, who grew up in Spokane, comes to Pullman after serving the past two years at the University of Hawai'i.
"Chris is going to be a great addition to our program," Wulff said. "He has been the head coach at both Idaho and Nevada, has 15 years of experience in the Pac-10, is a tremendous recruiter and is a very hard worker. He also grew up in eastern Washington and understands the uniqueness and culture of coaching at Washington State University."
At Hawai'i Tormey served as the special team coach and also assisted with the safeties. In his first season he coached Mana Silva, who led the Western Athletic Conference in interceptions with six.
Prior to Hawaii, Tormey served as the linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of Washington from 2004-08, his second stint on the Husky staff. During that time Tormey had four recruiting classes ranked in the top 35 nationally, including the 2008 class, which was ranked 14 by one national recruiting site.
Tormey spent the 2000-03 seasons as the head coach at the University of Nevada, where he guided the Wolf Pack to a 16-31 record in his four seasons. Each year his teams improved its win total, culminating in a 6-6 mark during his final season.
From 1995-99, Tormey was the head coach at his alma mater, the University of Idaho, coaching the Vandals to four winning seasons in five years. He compiled a 33-23 record and led Idaho to its first bowl appearance, a Humanitarian Bowl victory over Southern Mississippi in 1998. That year, he was named the Big West Conference's Coach of the Year and led Idaho to a 9-3 record. Additionally, he was named the Big West/Mid-American/NCAA I-A Independent Coach of the Year by The Sporting News in 1998 and helped the Vandals break school attendance records by averaging more than 25,000 per home game in 1999, his final season at Idaho.
For 11-years, from 1984 to 1994, Tormey worked as an assistant coach at Washington. He coached tight ends, outside linebackers and the secondary. In 1993, he was the acting defensive coordinator and was named to that position by head coach Jim Lambright for the 1994 campaign. During his tenure the Huskies appeared in 10 bowl games and won the 1991 national championship.
Tormey began his college coaching career in 1980 as a graduate assistant at Washington for two years, and then took the defensive line coaching position at Idaho in 1982 for two years under head coach Dennis Erickson.
A native of Omaha, Neb., Tormey grew up in Spokane where he attended Gonzaga Prep. He was later an all-Big Sky Conference linebacker at Idaho from 1976-77 during his three seasons. As a senior, he served as team captain before earning a degree in education in 1978.
Following graduation, Tormey signed a free-agent contract with the Washington Redskins.
Tormey and his wife, Kellie, have two daughters, Leah and Emily.