ETSU football hires O'Cain as O-Coordinator

Joe Avento • May 16, 2014 at 12:06 AM

East Tennessee State football coach Carl Torbush reverted back to his baseball days when describing the hiring of veteran coach and longtime friend Mike O'Cain as his offensive coordinator.

"We've hit a home run with Mike O'Cain," Torbush said Thursday night at Johnson City Country Club, the latest stop on the ETSU Gametime Tour.

ETSU announced O'Cain's hiring on Thursday, and the two coaches will undoubtedly be talking about touchdowns in the near future.The two have worked against each other as head coaches -- when O'Cain was head coach at N.C. State and Torbush at North Carolina. They've also coached together when O'Cain was Torbush's offensive coordinator at North Carolina for a year."I'm very excited about this," O'Cain said. "I have tremendous respect for Carl. We've coached with each other and against each other. We've been friends for a long time. I have respect for him not only as a football coach but as a man. The way he deals with people is very open and honest."O'Cain, who was head coach at N.C. State for seven years, also spent eight years as Virginia Tech's quarterbacks coach. He spent last season as James Madison's offensive coordinator."I can't tell you how excited I am to have him here," Torbush said. "He brings a lot to the table. He's obviously a great football coach, but even a better man. I would want a guy like Mike O'Cain coaching my son because I know he will have his best in mind, not only athletically, but academically, socially and spiritually."O'Cain, who was 41-40 as head coach at N.C. State, promises a wide-open offense once the Bucs take the field"We want to spread you out, go fast-paced, no-huddle," said O'Cain, who has 36 years of college coaching experience. "We'll throw the ball around, but run it as well."I believe to be a great football team, there are two things you have to have. You have to be able to stop the run. And on offense, you've got to run the ball. That doesn't mean you run the ball 75, 80 percent of the time. But you've got to be efficient running the football because so many things can come off of that."O'Cain, who will turn 60 in July, is joining a program that won't play an official game until the fall of 2015, giving him plenty of time to get acquainted with his new surroundings. In the meantime, he'll be helping Torbush, defensive coordinator Billy Taylor and assistant Teddy Gaines in rebuilding the program from scratch."I'm feeling this thing out too because I've never been in a situation like this," O'Cain said. "I've been in a lot of places and done a lot of things, but I’ve never had an opportunity like this where you start from scratch. I think it will be a lot of fun. It's gonna be a tremendous challenge."

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