Idaho athletic director Pete Liske interviewed three more candidates as the Vandals’ search for a football coach continued on Thursday.
Washington assistant coach Scott Linehan confirmed he met with Liske. The others are believed to be Nevada assistant Bob Petrino and Arizona State assistant Dan Cozzetto. All previously were UI assistants.
Washington assistant Chris Tormey met with Liske on Wednesday. Cal assistants Tim Lappano and Denny Schuler, and Art Valero, an assistant under just-departed UI coach John L. Smith, are expected to meet with Liske today or Saturday.
Most media speculation has Tormey, a former Vandals player and assistant coach, as the leading candidate. That’s news to him.
“Pete and I are friends. I thought it went well, but I don’t know what Pete’s looking for,” said Tormey, who is credited with recruiting Husky stars Napoleon Kaufman and Mark Brunell. “Whatever happens, I’ve got a great job (at UW) and I’m fortunate to have two opportunities.”
Tormey’s qualifications seem to make him a likely finalist.
Several candidates said they believe nothing has been decided and that Liske’s search is thorough.
“I met with Pete and I think it went real well,” said Linehan, 31. “Pete’s doing it the right way.”
Added Valero: “Pete’s his own man. He’s going to sit down and weigh things and get the thing done right. I’ve just got to try to put my best foot forward.”
Liske is expected to return to Moscow this evening. It’s unclear of the process from there, but a search committee will probably become involved when or if finalists are brought in for second interviews.
Cal coach Keith Gilbertson, Idaho’s coach from 1986-88, said UI’s candidates are quality.
“The thing I’m happy about is all of those guys care about the Vandals and know what works there and what doesn’t,” Gilbertson said. “No. 1, I love the Vandals and want them to get a good guy in there. No. 2, it is my job to help people get those (coaching) opportunities, guys that have been loyal to me and in my program.”