Chris Tormey and Randy Hart will apparently return to Washington next season as part of the staff of new football coach Tyrone Willingham. But for the first time in seven years...
Chris Tormey and Randy Hart will apparently return to Washington next season as part of the staff of new football coach Tyrone Willingham.
But for the first time in seven years, Willingham’s staff will not include Bill Diedrick, the former Washington offensive coordinator.
“I’m not coming to Seattle,” Diedrick said last night from South Bend, Ind., where he is helping prepare Notre Dame for the Insight Bowl on Dec. 28.
Asked if he had conferred with Willingham, Diedrick wouldn’t confirm any conversation, saying only, “I’m not coming to Seattle. There’s other possibilities.”
No announcement has been made on Tormey and Hart, but word yesterday from several sources is that they are likely to be back.
Three others secondary coach Jimmy Lake, Scott Pelluer, special teams and tight-ends coach, and Cornell Jackson, running-backs coach and recruiting coordinator cleared out their offices yesterday after being told they will not be part of Willingham’s new staff.
“They kept the two guys we all figured they’d keep,” said Pelluer.
Diedrick was offensive coordinator at UW under Jim Lambright in 1994-95. He joined Willingham’s Stanford staff in 1998 and helped the Cardinal to some school records on offense in four years. But Notre Dame had offensive struggles in Willingham’s three years there, finishing 108th, 90th and 78th in NCAA total offense.
One UW source said that Willingham might be attempting to lure Chris Peterson from Boise State to be his offensive coordinator. Peterson is regarded as the mastermind of an offense that led Boise State to an 11-0 season.
There have also been reports that Kent Baer, current Notre Dame defensive coordinator, has been offered the same position at UW.
New Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis is expected to interview current Notre Dame assistants today. There have been reports that David Cutcliffe, former Ole Miss coach, will be Notre Dame’s new offensive coordinator and Al Golden, current defensive coordinator at Virginia, will take the same position at Notre Dame.
Baer is also thought to be in the running to become defensive coordinator at Arizona State, where he worked from 1992-94.
If Hart is retained, he would be working next season for his fifth different head coach at UW. He started as defensive line coach for Don James in 1988 and has worked as either line coach or defensive coordinator since. Hart would likely stay as the line coach Greg Mattison, who was Willingham’s defensive-line coach last year at Notre Dame, has since left for Florida.
Tormey was a UW assistant from 1984-94 before becoming head coach at Idaho and Nevada. After being fired by Nevada, he returned to UW a year ago as assistant head coach and linebackers coach.
Official word of some of the coaching moves could come today. Willingham spent yesterday on the road recruiting, but is scheduled to be back in the office today before leaving town again.
For Pelluer, it was a disappointing end to his second stint as a UW assistant. He was part of Jim Lambright’s staff from 1996-98 but was dismissed when Lambright was fired. He returned in the summer of 2003 to fill a vacancy created when Rick Neuheisel was fired and replaced by Keith Gilbertson.
Pelluer, who played at Washington State and is the older brother of former UW quarterback Steve Pelluer, moved into a new house in July and said he would like to stay in the area so his four children can continue in their current schools. He said he turned down a coaching job yesterday, apparently at Utah.
Lake, who turns 28 today, said he spent yesterday painting his house in preparation to sell it. He came to UW a year ago from Eastern Washington.
“I’m disappointed, but he said he already had another guy in mind,” Lake said.
Lake said he was impressed by how Willingham handled the situation, however, and predicted that Willingham will turn UW around.
“He’s exactly what Washington needs right now,” Lake said. “I know the players are real excited about him, and the recruits that called me, they are real excited that he is there.”
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