On Nov. 22, 1999, UNC Director of Athletics Dick Baddour sat in the Bowles Room at Koury Natatorium and announced his support for Carl Torbush as the school's head football coach.
On Monday, 364 days later, Baddour found himself in the same place. This time, however, he was there to announce that Torbush had been fired.
"I have completed a review of the football program, and the decision has been made not to retain Carl Torbush as the head football coach at the University of North Carolina," said Baddour, who sat beside Chancellor James Moeser at a press conference. "This decision is not based on a single game or solely a single season but rather on evaluation over a three-year period."
Moeser is the man ultimately responsible for the decision, but it was Baddour who recommended the change. Baddour made his recommendation after completing his annual evaluation of the football program Sunday.
The Tar Heels improved from a 3-8 record last year to finish 6-5 this season and become eligible for a bowl game.
But it wasn't enough to save Torbush, who compiled a 17-18 record in three seasons at the helm. UNC never got off to a good start under his leadership, something that disturbed Baddour and fans of the program. The Tar Heels started 0-3 in 1998 before bouncing back to finish 7-5, stood at 1-8 last year before winning their last two games and closed out this season with three victories after being 3-5.
"It seems that the current state of the program seems to rest on a game-by-game, year-by-year, season-by-season situation," Baddour said. "That is not an atmosphere for success or potential success."
The atmosphere of Kenan Stadium on Saturdays also hurt Torbush. The Tar Heels averaged 50,500 fans at home this season, too far below the stadium's capacity of 60,000 for Baddour's liking.