12:15 p.m. update: It looks like Jamar Cain is the next guy up.
Wyoming head coach Dave Christensen named Cain, the team's first-year defensive line coach, interim defensive coordinator after Chris Tormey was fired on Tuesday morning.
Cain is the third defensive coordinator to serve under Christensen in his less than five seasons at Wyoming.
Marty English was Christensen's first defensive coordinator in 2009, and he remained in that role from 2009 to 2011. English was reassigned to linebackers coach after his defense finished 115th against the run (232 yards per game) and 98th in total defense (431.6 yards per game) in 2011.
English left Wyoming for rival Colorado State prior to the 2012 season, and he has served as the Rams' co-defensive coordinator since that time.
Tormey was hired prior to the 2012 season, but the defense saw little improvement during his 20 games at Wyoming. After Wyoming allowed 232 rush yards per game in 2011, the defense surrendered 232.3 rush yards per game last season and is giving up an average of 236 yards per game this year.
Cain, who helped lead Cal Poly to the Big Sky Conference title in 2012, will serve as the defensive coordinator for Wyoming's final four games -- and potentially a bowl game.
11:15 a.m. update: Wyoming athletic director Tom Burman said on Thursday, prior to Wyoming's loss at San Jose State, that the team would be evaluated at the end of the season.
“We’ll evaluate the season at the end of the year as a whole, not individual games," Burman said. "Just like any fan can tell you, there’s been ups and downs this year. What happened Saturday [against Colorado State] wasn’t good enough for the kids, the coaches of myself.
"But we’ll look at it as a whole at the end of the football season, and hopefully that includes a bowl game.”
The comments came two days before Wyoming allowed 51 points, 642 total yards and 482 passing yards in the 51-44 loss to San Jose State on the road.
The 642 total yards was a season-high for San Jose State and the ninth-most in a game in school history. San Jose State quarterback David Fales' 482 passing yards was the eighth-highest total in school history.
The Spartans' 37 second half points were the most the team has scored in the second half of a game since a 42-point half in a 70-63 win over Rice on Oct. 2, 2004.
On Tuesday morning, Wyoming defensive coordinator Chris Tormey was fired. Cornerbacks coach Renaldo Hill will now coach the entire secondary, with help from defensive graduate assistant Dwain Crawford.
The dismissal also comes less than a week after news broke last week that Wyoming President Robert Sternberg hired outside consultants to evaluate the competitiveness of the football and men's basketball program. Wyoming head coach Dave Christensen declined to comment on the matter.
The final written report from the consultant firm, Collegiate Sports Associates, is due on Nov. 15.
10:45 a.m. update: Former Wyoming defensive coordinator Chris Tormey, who was fired Tuesday morning, said he thought the team's defensive issues could be solved on Monday.
That came two days after the Cowboys allowed 642 total yards and 482 passing yards in a 51-44 defeat at San Jose State.
The week prior to the game, Tormey stressed the importance of limiting big plays against San Jose State quarterback David Fales. Judging by the six passes of more than 30 yards Fales and the Spartans managed against the Cowboys, those preparations made little difference.
“We talked about the importance of keeping the ball in front of us during the game, and we didn’t get that done," Tormey said. "We knew he was an extremely accurate deep ball passer. We knew he has tremendous speed at wide receiver. And we knew we had to do everything technically right to have a chance.
"We did a lot of good things in the game; but we gave up six long passes, and it just killed us."
Despite the fact that his squad allowed more than 50 points for the second consecutive game, Tormey saw improvement from the group that surrendered 509 total yards and 290 rushing yards to rival Colorado State the week prior.
“We’ve got some young guys that haven’t played a lot back there, and I believe that we can fix every one of those problems. To me, it was a much better performance overall than the previous game," Tormey said. "In terms of alignment and playing hard, I thought our guys played extremely hard in this game. I thought the effort was there throughout the game.
"I thought we played the run as well as we have all season against a good offensive line.”
That marginal improvement, though, was not enough to save Tormey's job.
Tormey, who also coached Wyoming's safeties, was in the middle of his 34th season as a college coach. In that time, he was the head coach at University of Nevada and University of Idaho for a total of nine seasons, leading the Vandals to their first-ever bowl appearance in 1998.
He earned conference coach of the year honors in the 1998 season.
10:30 a.m. update: Wyoming interim defensive coordinator Jamar Cain was visibly upset after his team's 52-22 loss to Colorado State on Oct. 19.
The first-year defensive line coach, who was named interim defensive coordinator after Chris Tormey was fired on Tuesday morning, spoke out about his unit's poor execution after the Border War defeat.
“Today is pride. Where’s your pride at? I was embarrassed on Saturday," he said. "I walked off the field with my head down. I’ve never been punched in the mouth like that. I was embarrassed, I was upset, I didn’t want to talk to anybody, I was a bad husband.
"I had people over, and I think I fell asleep on the couch while people were at the house. But that’s just an embarrassing situation.”
Cain takes over a defense that has allowed more than 50 points in two consecutive games, a first in the Dave Christensen era. His unit, the defensive line, has also struggled at times, allowing an average of 236 rushing yards per game and picking up 13 sacks in eight games, tied for 78th nationally.
Cain, who coached the defensive line the previous four seasons at Cal Poly, was certainly motivated to turn things around after the Colorado State loss.
"You have to have pride in what you do. You can’t just let your rival come in and smack you in the mouth like that and just take it," Cain said. "And we just took it on the chin.
"Like, I don’t know. We just have to get better. We’ll definitely get better. You can see I’m getting fired up just thinking about it.”
Prior to his four-year stint at Cal Poly, Cain coached the defensive ends at Missouri State from 2006 to 2008. Cain was also a defensive graduate assistant at Ohio University in 2005 and an assistant coach at Sacramento City College, where he also played for two years, in 2004.
He recruits the Missouri and northern Colorado regions for Wyoming.
9:30 a.m. update: Former Wyoming defensive coordinator Chris Tormey spoke to the Star-Tribune on Monday, and he did not appear to know he would soon be relieved of his duties.
Tormey spoke to the Star-Tribune during the team's weekly media availability on Monday afternoon, and he certainly did not seem like a coach who knew he would imminently be fired.
“We’ve got a little bit of a luxury of time here to address the issues we had in this last game before we move forward," Tormey said. "So we’re certainly going to address those in practice tomorrow and make sure they’re corrected and make sure everybody understands exactly how we’re going to stop them in the future, and move on from there.
"But we’ve got two days this week to introduce our base game plan for Fresno State, and then we’ll get back on Sunday and get going again next week.”
Initial update:Wyoming fired defensive coordinator Chris Tormey, head coach Dave Christensen announced Tuesday morning.
Christensen has named defensive line coach Jamar Cain as interim coordinator.
“I felt that we needed to make a change at this time to give our football team and the young men on it the best opportunity to win our remaining four regular-season games,” Christensen said in a statement. “The last two weeks, our defense has not performed up to the expectations of our coaching staff, our players, nor our fans.”
Wyoming has lost three of its last four games since starting the season 3-1, falling to Colorado State 52-22 and San Jose State 51-44 in its last two games.
Wyoming is giving up 31.6 points and 465.8 yards per game this season.
Tormey had been Wyoming's defensive coordinator for the past two seasons. He will be paid through the conclusion of his contract, which expires in Dec. 2013.
Wyoming's defense did not meet expectations in Tormey's first season as defensive coordinator in 2012, and there has been little improvement even with a change in scheme this season.
In 2012, the Cowboys gave up an average of 32.25 points, 232.3 rushing yards and picked up only 14 sacks in 12 games, tied for 112th nationally.
Despite a change from the 4-3 base set to the 3-4 in the offseason, Wyoming's defensive statistics have not looked much different this season.
The Cowboys have allowed an average of 31.6 points and 236 rushing yards per game and picked up 13 sacks in the team's first eight games.
Wyoming (4-4, 2-2 Mountain West) has a bye this week and hosts No. 16 ranked Fresno State on Nov. 9.
Check back for more on this story.