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Ex-Valdosta High head coach Rush Propst sets fire to third chance at coaching

Head coach Rush Propst just can’t stay out of trouble.

It seems as if he doesn’t even want to go by the book and do the things the right—or legal—way.

While coaching at Hoover High School in Hoover, Ala., it was discovered that Propst had started a secret second family with a woman named Stefnie. He was let go.

He found a new job at Colquitt County High School in Georgia. While there, he was accused of improperly administering medication to players, and he owed back taxes. He was let go once again.

Now, after getting a third chance at Valdosta High School, Propst—who once was on the cusp of an assistant coaching position at the University of Alabama—was let go for a third time.

This time around, it was “funny money” that did him in.

In a conversation that was secretly being recorded by Michael Nelson, the former Executive Director of the VHS Touchdown Club, Propst explained how he would need some money from VHS boosters to use for locking in potential transfer players.

“We need some funny money,” Propst told Nelson.

When Nelson asked him how much he thought he would need, Propst answered, “I don’t know. I mean, hell, it could be $10,000 first year, maybe $15,000. I don’t know who’s coming and what they need and all that s***.”

The money was going to be used to pay rent for families of players who moved to Valdosta to play for Propst.

Propst accused UGA football head coach Kirby Smart of meeting with “the richest of the rich in southwest Georgia” to get money to pay players to sign to UGA. He also alleged that Smart learned to do this from Nick Saban, the head coach at the University of Alabama.

Another wild claim that Propst alleged was that three $60,000 donations persuaded now-NFL running back Nick Chubb to stay at UGA instead of enter the draft early.

Propst wasn’t telling the truth; he was lying and namedropping successful college football coaches and players to convince Nelson to give him “funny money.”

He basically admitted to lying when he provided UGA and Alabama with affidavits saying that he had no personal knowledge of recruiting violations.

After the conversation was leaked, the Valdosta City School Board voted 5-3 not to renew Propst’s contract.

The Georgia High School Association fined Valdosta $7,500, banned the football team from the 2021 postseason, declared four current players ineligible for a calendar year and the Wildcats also have to forfeit their seven wins from 2020, which included Propst’s 300th coaching win.

Valdosta appealed the penalties, but the appeal was denied.

In a text to a writer from Alabama Local, Propst said: “I hope the truth comes out eventually.”

Well, I don’t know what could be more true than a leaked audio clip in which a coach says all of the things that a high school football coach should never be caught saying. I mean, he said the words “funny money.” There’s no way he could be in the clear here.

All jokes aside, I wouldn’t be bothered if Propst never reaches 300 wins. Too much controversy surrounds the 250+ wins he already has.

I want to see good people become good coaches and record good, clean wins. I want every coach to be Dabo Swinney, the head coach at Clemson, basically.

Propst once told his team at Hoover to “go out there and beat the piss out of them [opposing team].”

As coach Propst would put it, I think the man has “beat the piss” out of his chances at coaching high school football.

However, stranger things have happened, and football—at all levels—is filled with people who only want to win, despite how corrupt or immoral the man leading their team is.

All we can do is sit back and see what happens next in the Rush Propst saga.

Written by Zach Edmondson, sports editor. Graphic courtesy of Gracie Lucas, digital content editor.

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