CWU announces head football coach finalists

CWU announces head football coach finalists
Photo courtesy: Central Washington University
CWU NEWS RELEASE -- Four candidates for the head football coaching position at Central Washington University have emerged as finalists. Each candidate will be in Ellensburg next week for on-campus interviews and community forums, CWU Director of Athletics Dennis Francois announced.

The four finalists for the position are: John Graham, associate head coach and defensive coordinator at Eastern Washington University; Ian Shoemaker, co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Saint Cloud State University, Minn.; Chris Tormey, former head coach at the University of Idaho and the University of Nevada, Reno; and Mat Taylor, head coach at Skyline High School, Wash.

All on-campus forums will be held at 10 a.m. in room 140 of the Student Union and Recreation Center, while off-campus community forums will be held at 5 p.m. in the Teanaway Room of the Hal Holmes Community Center at 209 North Ruby Street.

The on-campus interviews and forums will take place on four consecutive days beginning with next Monday, Dec. 16. Graham is the first candidate on campus on Monday, followed by Shoemaker on Tuesday, Tormey on Wednesday, and Taylor on Thursday.

Graham is completing his sixth season at Eastern Washington, a perennial power in the NCAA Division I-Football Championship Series ranks. A former defensive back at CWU, and a 1991 graduate of Central, Graham was an assistant on the Wildcats’ coaching staff from 1995 through 2007 before heading to Cheney. He served as defensive coordinator for the last 12 of those years, helping CWU qualify for the playoffs in 1998, 2002, and 2007.

Shoemaker has been at Saint Cloud State for the past six seasons, serving as the Huskies’ co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. A Graham, Wash., native, he helped SCSU to the 2011 Northern Sun Conference championship and mentored the 2012 national semifinalist in the Harlon Hill Trophy balloting. Shoemaker has had five other collegiate stops since being a two-sport student-athlete at Grinnell College (Iowa), where he graduated in 1996.

Tormey has NCAA Division I head coaching experience at both Idaho (1995-99) and Nevada (1999-2003). He has also been an assistant coach at the D-I level, with several stops along the way including most recently as defensive coordinator at the University of Wyoming. Tormey has also been an assistant at both the University of Washington and Washington State University. He graduated from Idaho in 1978 after playing for the Vandals.

Taylor has put together an impressive resume at the high school level. A 1999 graduate of CWU, he has posted a 72-9 win-loss record over the past six seasons at Skyline High School in Sammamish, where he has guided the Spartans to four Washington Interscholastic Activities Association Class 4A state championships and a runner-up finish.

“We had a large number of very qualified applicants and believe we have identified four finalists who possess different experiences and unique qualities that make them outstanding candidates to lead our football program,” said Francois

The next football coach will be the 24th head coach in CWU history and will replace interim head coach John Picha, who guided the Wildcats to a 7-4 record during the 2013 season.