Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Retiring Carl Torbush preaches patience



KU defensive coordinator Carl Torbush retires

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KU defensive coordinator Carl Torbush announced his retirement Tuesday, May 31, 2011 after being recently diagnosed with low grade prostate cancer. Head coach Turner Gill named cornerbacks coach Vic Shealy as the new defensive coordinator. Defensive line coach Buddy Wyatt has been promoted to co-defensive coordinator.

A reporter approached retiring Kansas University defensive coordinator Carl Torbush, who seemingly sensed the young man’s unease over having to ask questions about the football coach’s cancer diagnosis.

“You need to smile,” Torbush told him Tuesday in Mrkonic Auditorium. “You look better when you show some teeth.”

It was the friendly ball coach’s way of cutting the tension and replacing sadness with some cheer. Torbush revealed he is retiring because he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and will undergo surgery.

“You hear the word cancer, and all of us, including myself, think of death or dying, and that’s not true,” Torbush said. “This is a low-grade situation. If I do what I’m supposed to do and the doctor gets done what he’s supposed to get done, I ought to be free and completely ready to go again.”

By “go,” Torbush didn’t mean coach. He meant do more of the things he had to do less of when working.

“I love riding them WaveRunners,” said the Southern gentleman. “I like getting on a pontoon boat. I like getting on the lake and jumping in the water. I still love playing baseball. Somebody asked me how long I’ll play. I said I’ll probably play until the day I die or get hurt.”

Or until he gets cut.

“No,” he corrected. “If that happens, I’ll buy a team so I can play.”

A base-runner trying to steal on Torbush at this point of his baseball career has a better chance of getting thrown out by the umpire than the catcher, but that wasn’t always the case. Torbush, 59, earned NAIA first-team All-America honors in football and baseball at Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, Tenn. He played a year in the Kansas City Royals system and was a head baseball coach (Southeastern Louisiana) before he was a head football coach (Louisiana Tech, North Carolina).

On his way out of his year-and-a-half stay on Turner Gill’s staff, Torbush bemoaned the lack of patience in today’s world.

“I know people don’t want to hear it, but they need to hear it,” Torbush said. “I know boyfriends and girlfriends who don’t even talk to each other. They text to each other. I call it the MTV society. Everything is, ‘What have you done for me lately?’ and, ‘Make it work right now.’ The days of real, true patience are gone.”

Torbush said coaches used to be granted a three-year honeymoon, and then needed to show progress in the fourth and fifth years.

“I don’t think that happens anymore,” Torbush said. “In that third year, you need to start showing progress or sometimes you don’t get a fourth year.”

Patience levels have changed, but the time needed to establish a program hasn’t. It still takes five years.

“There are certain programs in the country, very few of them, you ought to show progress immediately,” he said. “Probably 95 percent of them, that’s not true.”

Torbush said the last two recruiting classes have upgraded the speed and athleticism of the team, and he added it takes four such classes in a row.

“You better be able to do that because the conference isn’t split anymore,” he said. “You’re getting ready to play them all. You know what that means.”

It means patience is in order.


Funhawk 8 years, 12 months ago

An old saying was "patience is a virtue." Patience is dying in our society because people have greater expections of each other - employers of employees, employees of employers, taxpayers of the federal government, husbands of wives, wives of husbands, buyers of sellers, advertisers of consumers, fans of their football team .......

But, let Mr. Torbush say it. "Everything is, ‘What have you done for me lately?’ and, ‘Make it work right now.’ The days of real, true patience are gone.” May we have patience today and enjoy the team this fall. The players have a talent that 99% of us don't have.

hawk316 8 years, 12 months ago

Patience is definitely required from all KU football fans. I know it's hard for many who have been raised in this "instant" culture of ours to have patience, but building a good football program takes time. I believe we're on the right track, with the right leadership in place, and given time, our patience will be rewarded.

ahpersecoachingexperience 8 years, 12 months ago

For any of you that agree with the "patience" take, think back to the ksu game. Remember how that game felt? Remember how flat and under prepared we looked on the field? Who's fault is that? Patience is fine but without progress...

Funhawk 8 years, 12 months ago

Friend, if you expect results that fast, you don't know the definition of patience. Plus, remember last year's team on the field was a lot of redshirt and true freshmen.

ahpersecoachingexperience 8 years, 12 months ago

I at least expected us to beat ndsu. I'm also expecting turner to wear a different shirt to a press conference one day.

Dirk Medema 8 years, 12 months ago

Didn't realize you were such a fashionista, but then again you whine about most everything so why should clothing be any different.

Dirk Medema 8 years, 12 months ago

But patience after the ndsu game also led to the GT game, and Baylor & KSU led to the CU game - because of patience, and a committment from the team to continue to listen and improve.

Amazing that the players didn't quit as predicted, nor did the recruits decommit as predicted.

ahpersecoachingexperience 8 years, 12 months ago

By gawd you're right. I'll take beat downs of 48 and 52 points every time if it means we will beat cu!

Dirk Medema 8 years, 12 months ago

Are you really this dense and illogical, or do you really just work at appearing stupid?

The issue is NOT the score in any of the games, but a question of attitude, and how the team responds over time. And the players and coaches (and recruits) have responded positively. It's not about a 50 pt loss or a 35 pt come from behind win - both immediate results. The issue is about realizing that building a program takes more than one or even 2 years (12-24 weekends of results). Building a program - year after year of results, takes years.

Now go microwave your next meal in a box.

Dan Harris 8 years, 12 months ago

apher doesn't have to try at looking stupid, it just comes naturally!

Chris Bailey 8 years, 12 months ago

You can disagree with ahperse all you want but he is anything but stupid. He post's a lot of random things that get under peoples skin but he also hates to lose as do I. You may not like what he has to say but he does have the desire for KU football to be relevant. He is definitely a cynic but he accomplishes one thing, he keeps a fire lit under our coaches to improve and not settle for mediocrity. I agree that improvement may be slow but I want to see improvement not regression.

ahpersecoachingexperience 8 years, 12 months ago

Not only that, but posting gives me something to do in while I'm taking a dump;)

nuleafjhawk 8 years, 12 months ago

Does anybody remember when Bill Snyder took over at K-State (the first time)? I don't remember exactly what his first speech to the media was, but it was something about " in a few years " he felt that K-State could be as good or better than the Iowa Hawkeye team that he had just left. I LITERALLY LOL'd.

I'm sorry I haven't looked any of this up ( it's early, and I'm going to be late for work), but I know his first couple of years were just flat out terrible. KU is nowhere near as bad as KSU was then, not even close. Be patient. Maybe Gill ISN'T the guy - but it's just too early to tell. Give him a chance.

Funhawk 8 years, 12 months ago


"Patience. Snyder is State's 32nd coach in 93 years, making for an average tenure of less than three years per coach. Jim Dickey, who led the Wildcats to their only bowl game (Independence, in 1982, a 14-3 loss to Wisconsin) and was canned 24 games later, laughs and says: 'A coach should never forget The Alumni Prayer: I pray for patience. I want it right now.' "

I believe this Sports Illustrated article was written the week of Bill Snyder's first game as the new K-State coach. The 1989 SI article documents K-State's football history, worse than KU's. "The worst moment in K-State's woeful football history came on Oct. 29, 1966. The Wildcats were ahead of heavily favored Kansas 3-0 and had the ball on first down on their own 32-yard line with only 1:38 remaining in the game. A lock. Two plays gained six yards, and a delay of game penalty left the Cats with third and nine, at which point quarterback Bill Nossek fumbled. Kansas recovered on the State 30. With four seconds left, Jayhawk Thermus Butler—who had never kicked a college field goal—booted a 38-yarder to tie the game. After the season, both State coach Doug Weaver and Kansas coach Jack Mitchell were fired. Butler lives in K-State infamy."

KU 8 years, 12 months ago

Turner Gill is no Bill Snyder! Snyder is a hall of fame coach. He has the type of CEO talents that could turn around General Motors, much like Lee Iaccoca turned around Chrysler. He turned around the most moribund football program in the country within 5 yrs. Also, for those preaching patience, Snyder turned around KSU a 2nd time last season in his first season out of retirement! He took what was largely a hapless band of leftovers, blended in some jucos, instilled discipline and teamwork and by the end of the season, they not only kicked the snot out of us but they went to a bowl game! So please..let's not confuse Turner Gill with Bill Snyder.

nuleafjhawk 8 years, 12 months ago

Well, Bill Snyder was no Bill Snyder either after one year. You just said Snyder turned them around in 5 years, but everyone is ready to run Gill out of town after one year. It wouldn't matter if you brought a Vince Lombardi type to Lawrence, it's going to take a little time.

KU 8 years, 12 months ago

My point is that Tuner Gill is not even in same league as a coach like Bill Snyder. Before you say "give him time", let me say there are VERY few coaches in the history of college football who could do what Snyder did @ KSU. You can give Gill from here until eternity and I don't believe he will ever be half the coach Snyder is/was. He may get KU back to respectability, but I can't see him leading KU to something like 4 or 5 back to back seasons of 11 wins or more.

Dan Harris 8 years, 12 months ago

you MAY be right, but there is no way to KNOW this after only ONE year!

nuleafjhawk 8 years, 12 months ago

Oh my goodness. I really don't feel like being argumentative, but it seems like I'm not getting through - and for some reason, today I want to. Absolutely Turner Gill is not in the same league as Bill Snyder. Now. He may never be. But then again - he may be twice the coach that Snyder is someday. Here's Coach Snyder's record after FOUR years: 1-10, 5-6, 7-4, 5-6, for a total of 18-26. That comes out to a winning percentage of .410. Not exactly Hall of Fame material. Do you suppose K-State Alum and fans were really blown away by this Bill Snyder guy? Well, considering the fact that they had lost 27 straight before he started, maybe they were!! haha But I can guarantee you that NONE of them were ready to induct him into the Hall of Fame at that point. Unless you are really awesome at foretelling the future (I'll send you my number - you tell me the lottery picks) there is no way of telling if Gill is going to turn it around here or fall flat on his face. Either one could happen, but you don't know and neither do I.

Jim Stauffer 8 years, 12 months ago

When is the last time Snyder had the results you seem to believe are a constant with him. He retired after back to back lackluster years. Has now come back and is slightly over .500. Not exactly knocking people over with his success. Is having trouble recruiting.

Did you know Snyder was going to have the great years he did after his first year? Of course not and you don't know what Gill will do in the ensuing years either.

Kirk 8 years, 12 months ago

Snyder is (or was) an exceptional coach. That's what KU needs. Not a "good" coach. The situation requires someone truly creative, dynamic -- and tough as they come. Otherwise this conference will chew us up and spit us out -- when it folds, when KU has to be relegated to a mid major.

Continued losing with moments of glory (mediocrity) won't help this program. Only finding a way to become a winner BEFORE landing 4-5 star recruits will get it down.

Very few can do it. Gill is not the man. No way, no how. He's a helluva nice human being. But his idea of reducing everything to "speed" (one many, many nice and necessary factors) is sheer idiocy, and his resume as a coach is small ball, which is where KU is headed soon. Unfortunately.

FinalFinal 8 years, 12 months ago

The man made millions of dollars, MILLIONS, and was a losing coach. Patience is easier collecting $35,000 a game.

Maybe the "common" man would have more patience if these guys made typical wages with huge incentives for winning.

This staff did not earn their wage last year. Your average insurance salesman would starve with that performance.

Mike Suellentrop 8 years, 12 months ago

The MTV generation is alive and well on this board. Good luck Coach Torbush.

ahpersecoachingexperience 8 years, 12 months ago

Gill almost doubled our average margin of loss by 2 touchdowns from the previous year. And that is without ou and ut on the schedule!

Andy Tweedy 8 years, 12 months ago

It was also without Todd Reesing, Kerry Meier, Dez Briscoe and Darrel Stuckey on the roster.

ahpersecoachingexperience 8 years, 12 months ago

Love that defense. Mostly for what it implies: 1) every team we lost to did not lose any significant players from the previous year. 2) there was no talent on the team. Yet our recruiting rankings were just as good. If not better.

Want to try the "his system installed" defense?

Gary Wirsig 8 years, 12 months ago

Please translate above gibberish ... or maybe the problem is my receiver...

nuleafjhawk 8 years, 12 months ago

What it means is that rockchalk1990 is right and ahperse just can't stand it.

truefan 8 years, 12 months ago

  1. Who did KSU, NU, BU, MU, Southern Miss, OSU, ISU, or A&M lose that was significant? NU was being hyped as a national title candidate, KSU still had Thomas which is all they needed, BU had Griffin III back with a stacked WR core, MU had a 2 year starter back at QB that went first round in this year's draft, S. Miss was about 2 feet away from beating us WITH Reesing and returned almost everyone, OSU was stacked, ISU had a good QB and a great RB both with experience, and A&M had two QBs better than anyone we had on the roster. They all may have lost a few players, but none of them lost players as important as the ones rockchalk listed.

  2. We had talent on the team last year. A lot of that talent was young, and a lot of that talent got hurt before the season even started and please spare me the "oh the coaches caused the injuries bs" because I'm not buying it.

I wouldn't give the coaches the benefit of the doubt with the system installation defense except that they went from a spread to a running offense. When Reesing, Meier, and Briscoe were here Mangino did not feel the need to run the ball and it showed in short yardage situation when we couldn't get a yard on 3rd and short. So we installed a running offense with a line that wasn't known to be good at run blocking and surprise surprise, it didn't work very well especially when we had to break in a young QB.

KGphoto 8 years, 12 months ago

ahperse, you REALLY need to work on the patience thing. Everybody here is a KU football fan. But you are taking it too seriously. It's not life and death man! It's just football, and Kansas isn't a football state.

It... takes... time... to... build... a... program...

Or do you know something that Torbush doesn't?

And to anybody saying that Gill isn't "in the same class" as Bill Snyder... How the hell would you know that?!?! You are the problem that Mr. Torbush is talking about. You are so anxious to advance, that you actually pretend to know something you have no way of knowing! It's ridiculous.

Patience grasshoppers.

Ryan Gerstner 8 years, 12 months ago

All the people that are screaming about Gill already were probably tickled pink back in 02 when Snyder lit Mangino up 64-0. KU may have the dumbest football fans in America. Study the sport a little bit and get some perspective. Torbush is exactly right. Anyone that thinks Gill is going to compete in the Big XII with his top 2 classes not having a single NFL player in them is hopelessly naive. Guess what, he didn't recruit those guys so he has to have time to replenish and develop talent.

fromthatstandpoint 8 years, 12 months ago

I think TO has a great chance to play in the league, if he continues to progress.

Randy Bombardier 8 years, 12 months ago

Yeah, five years minimum is needed. Probably more like 8. Over the long haul we would be wise to view 7 wins a year as a great improvement in our program which is historically obvious, just not very sexy. But, looking at Ohio State and Tressel, it is a great reminder that administrators love to remind coaches who is in charge no matter what the record.

Kirk 8 years, 12 months ago

Twenty years, minimum.

But really, you can't win 7 games a season in this conference unless you're competitive in ALL the games, save maybe two (OU and UT.)

I'll judge the upcoming season by how many games we're truly competitive in, and not by wins and losses...yet.

Kirk 8 years, 12 months ago

I'd buy the "patience" argument a LOT more if:

-- We'd had patience with Mangino ("7 losses in a row! Gasp!")

-- The conference weren't on the verge of falling apart and sending KU to die in a piddly group of nobodies (exit Bill Self, exit everything)

Joe Baker 8 years, 7 months ago

Well win, lose or draw I'm representing Ol' KU. I'm bleeding Crimson and Blue here in OKC.

Let's go Hawks and at least give them a game.

Most of the OSU alumni and fans are pretty cool.

It's the OU fans that are stupid and obnoxious.

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