Former Nevada coach joins UH staff


POSTED: Friday, February 20, 2009

In a reunion more than 30 years in the making, Chris Tormey and Greg McMackin are looking forward to working together again this season.

Tormey, a player under McMackin at Idaho in the late 1970s, rounds out the Hawaii football team's coaching staff as the Warriors' special teams coordinator. Tormey, formerly a head coach at Idaho and Nevada, will also work with associate head coach Rich Miano in coaching the UH defensive backs.

“;He's a great person and a great coach,”; McMackin said. “;I've known him a long time and really trust him. I think he's one of the best in the game so I'm really excited about him.”;

Tormey fills the vacancy left when former UH special teams coordinator Ikaika Malloe accepted the defensive coordinator job at Yale. He has been a regular visitor to the islands in his coaching career. He coached against the Warriors as head coach at Nevada from 2000 to 2003, and again as an assistant at Washington, which visited Aloha Stadium to close the 2007 season.

Tormey had coached linebackers and served as recruiting coordinator for the Huskies since 2004, and was Washington's primary recruiter in Hawaii.

“;I know a lot of the high school coaches in Hawaii and have relationships there, so I think I'll be able to hit the ground running on recruiting,”; Tormey said.

Tormey worked three stints in Seattle, including a 10-year run as an assistant and defensive coordinator from 1984 to 1994. He got his first head coaching job in 1995 at Idaho, where he compiled a 33-23 record and led the Vandals to the Humanitarian Bowl in 1998.

He coached at Nevada from 2000 to 2003, going 16-31 in Reno before returning to Washington.

As a head coach, Tormey said he devoted much of his attention to defense and special teams.

“;I've always thought special teams is the X-factor. It's the difference between winning and losing games,”; Tormey said. “;The first thing is just to be sound across the board and the second thing is to make the big plays.”;

The relationship between Tormey and his new boss dates back to 1976, when McMackin was an assistant at Idaho and Tormey was an All-Big Sky Conference linebacker.

“;He was a captain and a great player and after he graduated I followed his career,”; McMackin said. “;He and I have been friends and I've always admired him.”;

“;(McMackin's) the same guy I knew as a player,”; Tormey said. “;I really responded to him and it's the same (with UH).”;

Tormey's hiring completes the Warriors' full-time coaching staff. UH hired Gordy Shaw as offensive line coach earlier this week.