March 1, 2009
Danny P Smith -
STARKVILLE -- Carl Torbush was happy and content with his coaching job at Carson-Newman, his alma mater in Tennessee.
That was until he received a call from Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen.
Mullen wanted Torbush to be his defensive coordinator and it was an opportunity too good for Torbush to pass up.
"I felt like it was an answer to a prayer obviously because Dan and I really didn''t know each other, but it didn''t take us long to get to know each other," Torbush said. "I was tremendously impressed with him when I came to interview. I''ve known a lot of people at Mississippi State for many, many years so that surely didn''t hurt.
"I had a dream home (at Carson-Newman) and my wife is from there. We really had not planned on moving again, then this happened. I''m very excited and I''m here to stay."
Torbush has a great deal of experience as a defensive coach. Before taking the head coaching job at Carson-Newman in 2006, he was the defensive coordinator and linebacker coach for five seasons at Alabama and Texas A&M. The Crimson Tide led the Southeastern Conference and ranked third nationally in defense his leadership in 2001.
That is what Mullen hopes Torbush can do for the Bulldogs.
Mullen knew Torbush wasn''t looking for a another job, but he wanted to go after a defensive coordinator who had head-coaching experience.
"His name came up and I called," Mullen said. "It was something where he wanted to get back (in the SEC). That was a huge deal and a perfect fit. As a new head coach, it''s good to have someone who has been through it all before."
Torbush spent three years as the head coach at North Carolina and was the defensive coordinator/linebackers coach 10 years prior to that. He was a defensive coach at Southeastern Louisiana and Louisiana Tech before becoming the defensive coordinator at Ole Miss.
After the Rebels led the SEC in total defense in 1986, he became the head coach at Louisiana Tech in 1987.
It was during his days at Louisiana Tech, Ole Miss and Alabama that he came to know about Starkville and MSU.
"I like Starkville and I''m a small town guy," Torbush said. "The people here are great. I haven''t been back on campus since I was at Ole Miss and Louisiana Tech so I was really stunned when I came on campus with the cleanliness and what I call curve appeal. The facilities are excellent. I''m an outdoors guy and this is an outdoor area so I like that."
It did not take Torbush long to settle in and get focused on some of the best defensive talent the area has to offer.
That''s why a player like Deontae Skinner of Noxubee County went through with his commitment and signed a scholarship to play at Mississippi State.
"I am very impressed with coach Torbush," Skinner said. "I checked his background and he''s a very successful coach so my relationship with him has been very good. He called every other day to ask how I''m doing with academics, checking on me and that meant a lot."
Torbush has already found MSU is an excellent place for recruiting. Everything from academics to facilities and the people are enough to attract prospects to campus.
"You''ve got a president (Mark Keenum) who is a former athlete and after having a chance to hear him speak, I would have committed to Mississippi State," Torbush said. "To me, he has a great love for Mississippi State and the state of Mississippi. I think that is really important.
"You have an athletic director in Greg (Byrne) who does a great job and is very involved. You have academic support who do a great job. There is enough spirituality here that should impress kids and families."