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Former UNC head football coach Carl Torbush died Nov. 5. He was 72.
Torbush coached the Tar Heels from 1997 to 2000 and led UNC to one of the most prominent wins in program history — a Jan. 1, 1998, victory over Virginia Tech in the Gator Bowl, 42–3. The win gave Carolina a season record of 11-1 and a final ranking of sixth in the nation.
Torbush became UNC’s head coach after Mack Brown left just before bowl season in 1997 to coach Texas University. Carolina went 7–5 the next year and defeated San Diego 20–13 in the Las Vegas Bowl.
Torbush was let go from UNC after the 2000 season, with a 17–18 overall record. After leaving Carolina, Torbush coached at East Tennessee State University from 2015 to 2017. His career head coaching record was 31–48.
“We lost a great man too soon,” said Brown in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.
We lost a great man too soon. Coach Torbush touched so many lives in a positive way. He loved the game of football, especially defense. He was the architect of one of college football’s greatest defenses during the ‘96 and ‘97 seasons here at Carolina. We send our deepest… pic.twitter.com/81JjT1JDHk
— Mack Brown (@CoachMackBrown) November 6, 2023
Torbush was noted for being a defensive expert. “He was the architect of one of college football’s greatest defenses during the ’96 and ’97 seasons here at Carolina,” Brown said. “We [Carolina football] send our deepest condolences to Carl’s family and friends.”
Torbush’s coaching career included positions at the University of Alabama, Louisiana Tech University, Texas A&M University, University of Mississippi, Mississippi State University, Southeastern Louisiana University, Carson-Newman University, University of Kansas and Liberty University.