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Torbush turns attention to coaching staff

Kelly Hodge • Feb 18, 2014 at 5:50 PM

With the recruiting season mostly behind him, East Tennessee State football coach Carl Torbush is moving on with other priorities.

High on his list is expanding the new program’s coaching staff in the early spring. It’s currently a three-man operation with Torbush, defensive coordinator Billy Taylor and defensive backs coach Teddy Gaines.

Hiring an offensive coordinator would appear to be the next major move.

“In a perfect world, that would absolutely be next,” Torbush said Tuesday. “I’ve got some guys that I’m very close to, who would be great fits if we can get them here. I think we’ll have something done within the next two months.”

Torbush, 62, said he has fielded well over 300 inquiries since the college football season ended. It’s a mixed bag of candidates.

“A lot of guys are just wanting to move up the ladder,” he said. “I know that’s the nature of the business, but I don’t want coaches who will be here a year and then leave. You have to have stability. If you don’t, it’s like having a different mom and dad every year.

“I’m not looking for another job, and it’s the same with Billy and Teddy. We love East Tennessee and want to be here. That’s the kind of coaches we’re looking for.”

The three ETSU coaches produced an inaugural recruiting class that currently stands at 47 players, counting walk-ons. Perhaps another six will be on board by next week.

About three dozen of the recruits are from Tennessee.

“I thought that was a great number we were able to get signed and committed,” said Torbush. “And having that many from in state speaks for itself. That’s a great plus for us.

“Billy and Teddy really did a wonderful job with recruiting. I couldn’t see kids but one time – I thought the NCAA would give us some leeway as a brand-new program, but they didn’t — so my hands were kind of tied. Billy and Teddy did all the roadwork, getting in the houses, making phone calls, emails and everything else.

“Really, four or five guys who committed early became our best recruiters, getting other kids to come. That made me very, very proud to see.”

The process of putting together a schedule for the inaugural season in 2015 is ongoing, and games are also being sought for 2016. The only date released so far is the opener against Kennesaw State on Sept. 3, 2015.

“The ’15 schedule is probably the toughest because it’s so close and a lot of teams are already filled up,” said Torbush. “We’re not in a league yet and have to do a lot of mixing and matching. And we still have to order equipment, find meeting rooms and coaches offices … just a lot of things.”

In the meanwhile, the planning goes on for getting players on the field this fall and actually playing some football.

“We’ll start practicing about the middle of September, probably 8-10 weeks and four days a week,” said Torbush, who last worked as linebackers coach at Liberty in 2012. “We feel like we can play a club schedule, which will basically be like pick-up football, or scrimmages.”

The coach anticipates playing at least six games against club teams, probably on Sunday afternoons.

“We’re not going to miss class to make trips,” he said, “and we’d like to have games within a three- or four-hour radius. I know the University of North Carolina has club ball. So does Clemson, South Carolina, Radford, Alabama. There are probably seven or eight good possibilities for us.”

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