During Monday's press conference announcing Turner Gill as the new head man at Kansas he took a moment to announce his two coordinators that were joining him. The first we've looked at in Chuck Long from the offensive side. Now switching over to the defensive side of the ball Carl Torbush previously with the Mississippi State Bulldogs will be joining the staff.
The Kansas defense has been somewhat of a sticky situation for the past two seasons. Since the loss of Aqib Talib and James McClinton the group has never really been able to hit their stride as they did in the early Mangino years. Now clearly we were also in the midst of one of the biggest offensive explosions in Big 12 history with the tsunami brought on by the spread, but the ineptitude and decision making at times proved troubling.
With the slate wiped clean, a new day has arrived for players and fans alike. Carl Torbush has both good and bad that comes with his track record. With defenses slowly adapting to the spread, let's hope Coach Torbush and his Tom Selleck mustache can put the pieces back in place for Kansas to compete once again on defense.
Without further ado, let's get to know Carl Torbush.
Carl Torbush was born in North Carolina but spent his high school day in the backyard of the Tennessee Volunteers, Knoxville Tennessee. After electing to walk on with the Vols following high school, Torbush would eventually transfer to a smaller, but fairly well known football school in Carson Newman. As a senior at Carson Newman, Torbush would be named to the NAIA All America squad in football as well as baseball. Following his college playing days Torbush would spend one season with the Kansas City Royals before deciding the coaching career path was the way to go.
Torbush made his first stop in the college coaching ranks with the Baylor University Bears where he served as a graduate assistant while pursuing his master's degree. After graduating, Torbush would spend a four year stint with Southeast Louisiana where he would serve as both the linebackers and defensive ends coach.
Torbush's next opportunity would come by way of Louisiana Tech where he would take the title of associate head coach and handle the linebackers for 3 seasons.
His first coordinator experience would come during a three year stretch from 1983-1986 with the Ole Miss Rebels. Torbush would handle the Rebels defensive play calling as well as their linebacker coaching duties. During his tenure the Rebels Freddie Joe Nunn was drafted #18 overall in the first round as a linebacker by the St. Louis Cardinals at the time. Ole Miss would also play in a bowl game twice during his tenure with the Rebels.
From Oxford, Torbush would return to Louisiana Tech for his first head coaching positon in 1987. While Torbush only spent one season with LaTech, he did manage to put up a win versus his new employer with a victory over Kansas.
After Louisiana Tech, Mack Brown asked Torbush to join him in Chapel Hill to coach the defense for the Tar Heels. Over the next ten years Torbush would remain the only consistent member of Mack Brown's original staff and the Tar Heels would recruit and field some impressive defensive teams and players.
In that ten year span the Tar Heels would play in 6 bowl games. Torbush would recruit and coach several defensive standouts, notably Dre Bly, Julius Peppers, Greg Ellis, Ryan Sims and Brian Sims. The 1995, 1996 and 1997 North Carolina defensive units led the nation in total defense three years in a row and were considered the best in the country.
The teams success over that ten year span and most notably the final 4 year stretch would lead to a move by Mack Brown to the University of Texas to take over the Longhorns coaching position. North Carolina would without hesitation name Carl Torbush their head coach to replace Brown.
The next four seasons were a bit troubling for the Tar Heels however as both expectations and injuries led to struggles on the field. Despite going to two bowls in his first two years, Torbush would stumble in his final two and finish his head coaching stint with North Carolina in 2000 after posting an overall 20-26 record with the program. Like Long, Torbush appears to be a better coordinator than a head man.
From North Carolina, Torbush didn't fall too far however as he locked on with the Alabama Crimson Tide for two seasons as their defensive coordinator under Dennis Franchione. His 2001 Alabama defensive unit led the Southeastern Conference and ranked third nationally allowing only 257.3 yards per game. However, Alabama became frustrated with Franchione's tendency to flirt with other jobs and the staff would move on after 2002.
Torbush would follow Franchione to Texas A&M where he would again serve as the defensive coordinator. Remember Chuck Long and the 2003 season, his 77 points put up against A&M. That's where the bad news come in, that was Torbush's first year as the defensive coordinator with the Aggies. Obviously the Aggies were in a bit of a rebuilding mode, but not many in College Station were accepting of that performance.
Further bad news comes in 2005 when the Aggies, preseason ranked #17, stumbled to a 5-6 record behind the 107th ranked defense in the nation. This would result in Franchione dismissing Torbush from the staff and probably the low point in his career.
Taking a step away from big time college football Torbush would return to his Alma Mater Carson Newman for the next three seasons as an associate head coach. During his time at Carson Newman, the Eagles posted a record of 25-8, including a 10-1 mark in 2007.
Following the 2008 season however, the SEC came calling again and Torbush moved down to Mississippi State to join Dan Mullen in his first season with the Bulldogs. Mississippi State was definitely a program at the bottom of the barrel on arrival. During the 2009 season the Bulldogs would finish 5-7 overall, 3-5 in the SEC and conclude the season with a win over rival Ole Miss. Torbush and the Bulldog defense was middle of the pack in the NCAA, but again this was a program that was in a bit of a rebuilding effort.
Overall, Torbush's career had some major highs as well as some not so bright spots to go with it. He does bring a tremendous amount of experience and while his time as a head coach in Chapel Hill wasn't the best, I don't think many their would argue with his defensive coaching abilities. Torbush has coached some great defenses and put some great players into the league. If he can do anything remotely close to that at Kansas, not many will find cause to complain.