Former Va. state title-winning football coach returns as assistant at rival school after embezzlement charges dropped

Former Northside head coach Burt Torrence is now a Heritage assistant (Photo: Twitter screen shot) Photo: Twitter screen shot

Former Va. state title-winning football coach returns as assistant at rival school after embezzlement charges dropped

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Former Va. state title-winning football coach returns as assistant at rival school after embezzlement charges dropped

The role is less critical than the work for Heritage (Va.) High defensive coordinator Burt Torrence. The important part is that Torrence is back on a football field after six months away from the sport.

As reported by the Roanoke Times and Lynchburg News & Advance, Torrence was officially reinstated following a board meeting on Tuesday night. He is entering his second season with Heritage after resigning his role as head coach at Roanoke Northside due to embezzlement charges in connection with two years of coaching stipends paid to Torrance that was earmarked for a girls track coach.

Torrence admitted that he had not deserved the stipend when stepping down at Northside, but he and his lawyer never admitted any wrongdoing. Rather, they have consistently explained that Torrence was awarded the stipend for serving as the team’s weightlifting and conditioning coach.

That was true even during the third and fourth years in which he was nominally a girls track coach, even though a new head coach for the program had drastically cut back on weightlifting and traditional gym and weight-based training.

After leaving Northside Torrence was quickly brought in to Heritage, where close friend Brad Bradley is a close friend. If anything, that relationship has been enhanced entering the new season.

“Very glad to have him back and looking forward to getting started,” Bradley told the Roanoke Times. “Coach Torrence is not only one of my coaches, he’s one of my closest friends and has been for years.”

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