Torbush's 13 years at UNC ended despite the fact he had two winning seasons in three years as the Tar Heels' head coach. Even a three-game winning streak at the end of 2000 couldn't save his job - his future was already in doubt before that run hit full force.
Torbush said Director of Athletics Dick Baddour approached him after the Tar Heels' victory at Pittsburgh and said he needed to start evaluating the direction of the program.
"I knew at that time we were in a tremendous danger zone, and the only one that knew we were in that danger zone was me," Torbush said.
Torbush didn't let his assistant coaches or players know the discussions had taken place. He wanted to make sure his future didn't become a distraction.
It became one once the players learned of Torbush's fate hours before he was officially fired on Nov. 20. Some players missed class two days later, but even though Torbush was no longer their coach, he wouldn't put up with it. Those same players were forced to run at 6 a.m. the next day.
"I told them I was fired, but I wasn't dead," Torbush said.
Neither is his coaching future. Torbush said he turned down another school's offer to become an assistant coach three days ago. He also has been contacted by several other schools.
Torbush said he would have no problem accepting a job as a defensive coordinator or linebackers coach. He filled both roles during his first 10 seasons at UNC.
"If you ask me what I enjoy more than anything else in life, that would be the thing that I would say," Torbush said.
Torbush doesn't think a head coaching job is an immediate option because he was recently fired. He wouldn't take just any job, anyway.
Torbush doesn't want to get into another situation where a coach is given just a couple of years to make his impact felt, which is a scenario that has become common recently.
Torbush has learned from his ordeal what kind of effect money has on collegiate athletics. Tough decisions are made quickly and decisively.
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Torbush doesn't harbor much bitterness, though. He wishes he knew who left a message on his office phone praising Baddour's decision to fire him, but that's about the extent of it. Torbush maintained that he has a "solid" relationship with Baddour.
"You try to separate the professional part from the friend part," Torbush said.
Torbush knows hirings and firings are part of the business. He relies on his faith as reassurance that he can move forward in his career.
"There's a plan out there, and it's already been laid," he said. "I'm excited to see where that plan will go. I do think there's a great future out there for Carl Torbush."
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