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Report: ETSU to hire Torbush as football coach

Published: 12:58 PM, 06/20/2013 Last updated: 12:59 PM, 06/20/2013
 

Author: Seth Butler
Source: The Newport Plain Talk

Former North Carolina head coach and longtime Division I-A assistant Carl Torbush is set to be tabbed as East Tennessee State University football coach later this week.

Johnson City television station WJHL reported on Tuesday evening that Torbush, who led the Tarheels on the gridiron from 1997-2000, will be announced as the schoolís coach on Friday. Torbush will lead the effort to get the Bucs charge to return the sport to the University.

ETSU last fielded a football team in the 2003 campaign, before school administration elected to end
the sport, citing financial concerns. In April, ETSU President Dr. Brian Noland announced that the school would revitalize its football program.

Torbush, who turns 62 in October, has served a variety of roles for different college football programs across the nation, after being an All-American linebacker at Carson-Newman in the 1970s. Torbush is an Austin-East High School graduate and walked on to the University of Tennessee football team, before transferring to Carson-Newman.

A veteran of the coaching ranks, Torbush has served as a head coach for four seasons, compiling a career record of 20-26 with a pair of bowl victories. In addition to being the head coach at North Carolina for three seasons, he was the head coach for one season at Louisiana Tech in 1987.

After leaving Louisiana Tech, Torbush served as the Tar Heels defensive coordinator and linebackers coach from 1988 until being promoted to head coach, after Mack Brown departed the program for Texas.

Torbush was dismissed from his North Carolina position after a 6-5 finish in 2000. He then surfaced as the defensive coordinator at Alabama in 2001 under coach Dennis Franchione. Torbush followed
Franchione to Texas A&M after the 2002 campaign and stayed there until 2005.

Torbush returned home in 2006 to become the assistant head coach to Ken Sparks at Carson-
Newman, a position he held for three seasons.

The veteran coach returned to the SEC in 2009, serving as defensive coordinator at Mississippi State under then first-year coach Dan Mullen. Torbush left the staff after one season to serve as defensive coordinator at Kansas under coach Turner Gill.

Torbush retired after the 2011 season after health concerns with prostate cancer. Torbush, however, was an assistant coach at Liberty University in 2012 before retiring once again.

Torbush has maintained a residence in the Jefferson City area, although he left Carson-Newman nearly five years ago.

In returning ETSU to the gridiron, Torbush will oversee the programís rebirth. School officials expect to play a junior varsity campaign in 2014, with varsity play beginning in 2015. ETSU announced last week that the school will leave the Atlantic Sun Conference to rejoin the Southern Conference.

The Bucs were part of the Southern Conference, prior to being forced out after the 2004-05 school year after dropping football.

ETSU announced that they were returning the sport after a decade long absence, after playing itís last game in November of 2003. An increase in student fees, approved by the schoolís Student Government Association, is helping to fund the once dormant program.

Former University of Tennessee football coach Phillip Fulmer has served the school as an advisor in the process after it was announced that the sport was returning in April. ETSU reportedly originally offered Fulmer the coaching position, before he offered to assist them to help oversee the process.

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