Former college coach Tormey excited to take on South Whidbey head job

Longtime University of Washington assistant coach Chris Tormey has been hired as the new head football coach at South Whidbey.

Tormey began his coaching career — which spans 33 collegiate seasons including nine as a head coach — as a graduate assistant at Washington in 1980. After coaching the defensive line at the University of Idaho for two seasons, his alma mater, he returned to Washington for 11 years where he coached tight ends, outside linebackers and the secondary under legendary Huskies coach Don James.

“I am excited about it. My wife moved to Whidbey Island last September and when that job opened it seemed like a great fit,” Tormey said. “I was open to whatever the next opportunity was. It is going to be an adjustment moving from college to high school”

Tormey is excited to take over at South Whidbey, a place he believes has everything needed to succeed on the gridiron.

“It’s a great group of kids, a great community and a tremendously supportive administration,” Tormey said. “Should be the ingredients for a successful program.”

During his tenure at UW, the Huskies appeared in 10 bowl games and won the 1991 National Championship.

In 1995, Tormey returned to Idaho for his first head-coaching job. He led the Vandals to four winning seasons in five years as Idaho moved from Division I-AA to the I-A level. Tormey was named the Big West Conference Coach of the Year in 1998.

Tormey served as the head coach at the University of Nevada for four seasons before returning to Washington in 2004 to serve as the linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator. He also had coaching stops at the University of Hawaii, Washington State University the and University of Wyoming, where he most recently served as the defensive coordinator for the Cowboys this past season.

Tormey is one of the first out-of-district football hires in decades. Previously, the head coaching job was split between Andy Davis and Mark Hodson, both teachers at South Whidbey High School, who decided to step down to spend more time with their families after a dozen of years calling plays. Legendary South Whidbey coach Jim Leierer still visits the team during its early fall practices and continues his tradition of taking a picture of each player so he can pray for them.

A native of Omaha, Neb., Tormey grew up in Spokane and graduated from Gonzaga Prep. He went on to play linebacker at Idaho in the mid 1970s, earning All-Big Sky honors in 1976 and 1977. After completing his career with the Vandals he signed as a free agent with the National Football League’s Washington Redskins.

Tormey takes over a Falcons squad that finished 5-5 last season and made it to the first-round of the district tournament.

Ben Watanabe, of the South Whidbey Record, contributed to this report.

More in Sports

Members of the offensive line look over a play during practice Wednesday afternoon at Monroe High in Monroe on November 15, 2017. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
After historic win, Monroe football sets sights on Sumner

The Bearcats advanced to the quarterfinals after their first-ever state-playoff win last week.

Return of goalie Hart boosts Silvertips’ confidence

Everett has gone 3-1-0-1 since Hart returned to the lineup after an illness earlier this season.

Doubt grows over Chancellor’s availability for Monday

The Seahawks strong safety sufferered a neck stinger in a win over the Cardinals last week.

Looking for 2nd receiving option, Huskies turn to Fuller

After a rash of injuries, the sophomore looks to step up as Washington’s complement to Dante Pettis.

Skate America returning to Xfinity Arena next year

Everett set the Skate America attendance record when it hosted the event in 2008

Friday/Saturday’s state football preview capsules

Archbishop Murphy (2A) and Monroe (4A) will play in the state quarterfinals this weekend.

Washington falls to Providence 77-70 in 2K Classic

Noah Dickerson scores 19 and freshman Jaylen Nowell adds 14 the Huskies in the loss.

POLL RESULTS: Sherman’s loss a significant one for Seahawks

Responders believe Seattle will suffer consequences from All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman’s injury.

BLOG: Some off-day musings as Silvertips prep for three-in-three

The Silvertips are heading into a busy stretch of games with in… Continue reading

Most Read