ETSU released the following statements about new head football coach Carl Torbush:
• “I believe Carl Torbush is the right coach at the right time to bring ETSU football back. I also believe he will be competing for Southern Conference championships very soon. Carl brings a wealth of experience and unlimited energy to the challenges ahead. He has had success at all levels of football, and he understands recruiting student-athletes that make their academics important. He will be a great mentor as these young men grow from adolescence into manhood. Carl knows how to build character and leadership on his team and staff, and he knows how to communicate with the administration and faculty. He will work at making football relevant and important to the ETSU family.” — Phillip Fulmer, University of Tennessee Head Football Coach (1992-2008) and College Football Hall of Fame Member.
• “The biggest thing about Coach Torbush was he set standards, and he preached accountability all the time. He expected us to do things the right way, to work hard, and to be a student first and an athlete second. During the 1990s, our defenses at UNC were some of the best in the nation. Those numbers didn’t lie. He set goals for us and as a unit we fulfilled them. What fans can expect is a coach that is always prepared. He will set a plan and get it done. I was honored to play under him, and he was a big part of why I was able to go do what I did in the NFL. He believed in us as players and as people. I’m really happy for him to get this opportunity at East Tennessee State.” — Dre’ Bly, Former North Carolina All-American (1996-98), 11-year NFL veteran, All-Pro Cornerback and Super Bowl XXXIV champion.
• “Coach Torbush is one of the most well-respected coaches in all of college football. He has been very successful and has coached at all levels of the game. He has deep roots in the East Tennessee region, and I wish him and his staff the best of luck as they re-start our football program.” — Mike Smith, Current Atlanta Falcons Head Coach, 2008 NFL Coach of the Year, Former ETSU linebacker (1978-81) and ETSU Hall of Fame member.
• “I have known Carl Torbush since our days together going to college at Carson-Newman. He was a tremendous athlete and a great student, and he always treated everybody the same – like they were the most important person in the world. He always has time for people, whether they are the president of the university or a janitor. They don’t come any better. While he’s a great football coach, he’s an even better person. He’s a class act in every aspect of his life. He will make the people of East Tennessee State proud, not just because of his football knowledge, but how he will represent the people of East Tennessee.” — Sylvia Hatchell, University of North Carolina Women’s Basketball Head Coach.
•“The best way to describe Coach Torbush accepting this new opportunity to build a program at East Tennessee State is that – for the university – it’s an absolute home run. He is without question one of the finest coaches in the country. I have watched him since he began his career. He brings expertise and knowledge to any program, but even more important, he’s the type of person that if I had son, I’d want him to play for Coach Torbush.” — Grant Teaff, Executive Director, American Football Coaches Association.