College Football: East Spencer native Torbush has cancer
Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 31, 2011
LAWRENCE, Kan. — Carl Torbush, defensive coordinator at Kansas and former head coach at Louisiana Tech and North Carolina, is retiring after being diagnosed with prostate cancer.
The school said Tuesday that Torbush, who also served as KU’s linebackers coach, will be having surgery soon and expects a full recovery.
Torbush was one of the first assistants Turner Gill hired after he was hired as head coach following the the 2009 season. Torbush has also been defensive coordinator at North Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi and Texas A&M.
“As far as where I’m at, it’s a tough time,” he said at a news conference on Tuesday. “I’m 591/2 years old. Seems like yesterday, you blink an eye and you’re 21, all of a sudden you’re 591/2 and wondering where it all went.
“I will say that I’m still playing baseball, so I’m pretty fortunate in that. I had a situation health-wise that got checked, and it is a low-grade prostate cancer that me and my family are going to have to deal with. I just felt like I wanted to get this cleared up. I don’t know how long it’s going to take to get it cleared up, but I’ve got a strong faith and I have no doubt that it’s going to work out the way it’s supposed to work out.”
Gill said he was “shocked and surprised” to learn of Torbush’s illness.
“When you’re talking about health, you have to put all the other selfish stuff away,” he said. “I was more concerned about his health and making sure that he was going to be OK. Once he got to explain what was going on, I understood that he was going to be all right from that. He’s a guy that’s not just a coaching friend, he’s a guy that I’ve gotten to know over many years.”
Torbush said Kansas is in good hands.
“First of all, the opportunity to be at the University of Kansas has been a great thrill for me and I don’t have any doubt that this program is in great hands with coach Turner Gill,” he said. “Just like I’ve said over a period of time, that is the reason that I came to KU originally, and I still firmly believe that after I’ve been here a year.”
Gill said assistant coach Vic Shealy would be the new defensive coordinator and Buddy Wyatt would be co-defensive coordinator.
“Those two will work together. Carl was definitely a top guy when I tried to put together a staff. He is a guy who has been a great friend of mine, a great mentor and a spiritual person for me. He’s been a great person for college football and great for the University of Kansas.”
The Associated Press