Carl Torbush will conduct his first coaching clinic at East Tennessee State later this month, and he says it’s a golden opportunity to spread the word about his fledgling program.
The Bucs' new head coach has enlisted former Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer and at least three others to talk football on July 27 in the Martha Culp Auditorium on campus. Torbush has said he would like to see perhaps 150 coaches, from high school to youth leagues, attend.
“It’s a great thing for us in that nobody else can have a clinic now because they’re getting ready to start practice. We’re not,” he said. ”It’s open to any coach, whether it’s high school, middle school, midget league. If you love football and you’re a coach, you need to come.”
Torbush, who has been defensive coordinator at six different FBS schools, will speak about his specialty. Fulmer will talk about offensive line play.
Also committed are former North Carolina assistants Kenny Browning (defensive line) and Ron Case (defensive backs), and Maryville College coach Mike Rader, who is a former ETSU receiver.
A full day of instruction is scheduled, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Participants in the clinic will receive an exclusive ETSU football folder.
A continental breakfast will be offered during pre-registration, which begins that morning at 7:30 and a special Fellowship of Christian Athletes luncheon provided on campus by Chick-fil-A is also included.
The clinic, presented by Appalachian Orthopaedic Associates, is $20 for early registration and $30 the day of the event. All proceeds will benefit the ETSU Kickoff Fund.
For more information, call 423-439-5286 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Women’s basketball coach Brittany Ezell’s first recruiting class at ETSU targeted the backcourt.
Three new guards will be on the roster this fall, including Adriane Vaughan (Midlothian, Va.), Jasmine Hotchkins (Phoenix, Ariz.) and Shamauria Bridges (Miramar, Fla.), who was signed last fall by former coach Karen Kemp.
“I think we had to address needs there,” Ezell said Wednesday. “We have great size. Rebound-wise and points in the paint, we’ll be alright. But we need to get up and pressure; we’ve gotta defend and handle the ball, especially with the 10-second rule going into effect in women’s basketball.”
July is the big recruiting month in college basketball, and Ezell is out on the road this week. She’s mostly looking for the future.
“We’ve gotten to the point where we realize there may be one more kid we can get late,” she said, “but we’re really looking for the Class of ’14 and Class of ’15. We’ve been chasing every Tennessee team we can find, trying to make sure we get our name in front of every kid within a hundred-mile radius.”
Ezell continues to size up the players she inherited when she was hired in May. She says none has decided to transfer.
The entire team, except for Hotchkins, will be on campus for the last summer session.
“I think they’re curious to see how we work,” said Ezell. “Summer will be spent learning how to defend. Everyone knows offense; they come into the gym flipping up 3-pointers. We’re going to learn how to defend.”
The schedule, she said, is all but finished and will be released soon. The Lady Bucs will play non-conference games at Kentucky, Vanderbilt and Memphis.
Southeastern Conference schools are also highlights on the men’s soccer schedule released this week, although the league doesn’t sponsor the sport.
South Carolina and Kentucky, which are affiliate members of Conference USA, are first up for ETSU this fall. The Bucs open in Columbia on Aug. 30, then host the Wildcats on Sept. 5.
“We’re excited about it because of the quality of these teams, and we know they’re teams that our fans recognize,” coach Scott Calabrese said Wednesday. “Even though they’re affiliate members of CUSA, that’s a very strong soccer conference, a multi-bid conference. Those games will be major tests for us.”
Taking an early look at the Atlantic Sun Conference race – the last one for the Bucs before moving to the Southern Conference – Calabrese expects his team to be a contender.
“Florida Gulf Coast will be good again, and they tend to be our biggest rival,” he said. “UNF and Jacksonville have new coaches who have come in and improved those teams significantly. Mercer lost very few players.
“The overall level of play in the A-Sun will be improved.”
The Bucs again have a taste of SoCon competition on the schedule. They’ll play Furman and Appalachian State in back-to-back home games on Sept. 20 and 26.
“We’ve always played the SoCon teams,” said Calabrese. “Geographically, it makes sense, and competitively it makes sense, because they’re strong teams.”
Former ETSU baseball players Chas Byrne and Kerry Doane are coming off tough outings on the mound Tuesday night.
Pitching for the Lexington Legends, Byrne gave up three runs in an inning of relief at home against Greensboro. The Johnson City native is 3-1 for the season with a 5.34 earned-run average. Opponents are hitting .302 against him.
Doane, meanwhile, surrendered seven hits and six earned runs in just one inning for the Mahoning Valley Scrappers against State College. The right-hander, who was the Atlantic Sun pitcher of the year this spring, is 1-0 with a 6.00 ERA in six relief appearances. He has struck out 11 and walked two in 12 innings.
ETSU athletes collectively had a stellar spring semester in the classroom.
Of the 264 student-athletes, 181 were named to the honor roll for achieving a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Sixty-nine made the dean’s list, at 3.7 or higher, and 25 attained perfect 4.0 GPAs.
Overall, the cumulative average of 3.19 was higher than non-athletes (3.03) at the university.