Tormey named linebackers coach

It will be 20 years this March when Chris Tormey first got an opportunity to coach for the Washington Huskies. He was grateful then for the chance to prove his worth and he's just as grateful today. Monday, Tormey was hired to coach the linebackers for UW, as well as be an assistant head coach under Keith Gilbertson. The current linebackers coach, Tim Hundley, is expected to agree to a coaching position at another school shortly.

"Coach Gilbertson called me and asked me if I would be interested in coming back to the University of Washington and of course I told him that I would be very interested in coming back," Tormey told from his home in Reno, Nevada Monday. "He told me a little bit about what the job might entail and it sounded like a great opportunity and I'm looking forward to getting back to Seattle.

"I still think it's the best job in the Pac-10. I'm excited about being involved with Keith Gilbertson again. I think he's a tremendous coach and a great recruiter. I believe will have success at the University of Washington over the next ten years."

Tormey and the Wolfpack beat the Huskies 28-17 in Seattle, so it's a bit ironic that Chris now moves back to the north sideline. "It's been a tough time for me personally and for my family after our last game and being terminated by the University of Nevada," he said. "But as it turned out, a tremendous opportunity opened up on the other side. I'm from Washington, my wife is from Washington, both our girls were born in Seattle and I think the Huskies are still the Huskies.

"I'm still a little more familiar with the north sideline than I was the south sideline. Husky Stadium is one of the great venues in college venue and I'm fired up about getting the opportunity to run down that tunnel."

Tormey's new job also gives him a chance to reunite with two of his closer friends, Gilbertson and defensive line coach Randy Hart. "Both are lifetime friends and they are great football coaches and I have tremendous respect for both of them," Chris said of Keith and Randy. "I'm looking forward to being back among friends and coaching a position again. As a head coach you're sort of removed from that, so this is an opportunity to get back into it and get these linebackers excited about Husky football again and I'm looking forward to it."

Chris not only brings back his knowledge of the Husky program and traditions, he also brings back a recruiting prowess that saw him land many of the top recruits of his day. "In order to recruit great players, you have to have great players in your area," he said. "I was fortunate during a period of about four or five years there were a lot of really good football players and I was in that area in there long enough to establish some connections there. I was at Washington for eleven years as an assistant coach, so I think that really helped. It helped us land some quality players like Mark Brunell, Napoleon Kaufman, Tommie Smith, Rashaan Shehee and Charles Mincy."

Jim Nevelle, Ed Cunningham and Donald Jones were some other players that Tormey landed for the Dawgs during his last stay in Seattle. "I'm going to be in next weekend, so I suspect I'll meet up with Coach Gilbertson, get my responsibilities defined and get after it."

On a personal note, Tormey is already thinking about one place he's bound to hit soon after he gets into town. "The Metropolitan Grill is high on the list," he said with a bit of a chuckle. "It's been a few years since I attempted eating one of those (52-ounce porterhouse), but the peppercorn New York is my all-time favorite."

Any last thoughts for Husky fans? "I'm really gratified for this opportunity for me and my family."

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