Valdosta reconsidering firing of head coach Rush Propst
Rush Propst might not be out as Valdosta High School’s football coach after all.
According to the Atlanta Constitution Journal, Valdosta is reportedly “reconsidering” its decision to fire Propst following allegations of the veteran head coach recruiting players and their families to Valdosta and then paying for their living expenses. The allegations first surfaced in February and Propst was placed on administrative leave shortly after.
Valdosta City Schools confirmed to the Atlanta Constitution Journal that it will meet next week to “revisit” Propst’s non-contract renewal after a 5-3 vote to remove him from his position earlier this month. Per the Atlanta Constitution Journal, next week’s board meeting agenda reads: “Revisit non-renewal of head football coach at VHS — Mr. Warren Lee — action required.”
Valdosta was recently hit with a postseason ban and a $7,500 fine for using five ineligible players, including top quarterback recruit and current University of Miami freshman Jake Garcia.
GHSA Executive Director Robin Hines announced the fines as $1,000 for each of the five ineligible players and tacked on an additional $2,500 fine for “lack of institutional control” in a letter to Valdosta school superintendent Todd Cason.
“The evidence is clear that this is not an isolated instance (of recruiting) and that Coach [Rush] Probst (sic) and members of the Valdosta Touchdown Club have on other occasions contacted other student-athletes or their families and provided gifts of money, payment of utilities and housing incentives in an attempt to persuade those student-athletes to transfer to Valdosta High School.”
Propst has won 299 games in his storied, but controversial high school football coaching career. Off-field issues have followed Propst at many of his previous coaching stops, including Hoover High School, where he resigned after admitting to an extra-marital affair.
Propst then became the head coach at Georgia’s Colquitt County High School in 2008, but was relieved of his duties in March 2019. At the time of his removal as head coach at Colquitt County, the Colquitt County Board of Education voted to remove Propst from his coaching position after it was determined he violated the Code of Ethics for Educators for legal compliance, conduct with students, honesty, and public funds and property, including giving pills to students “on more than one occasion” and owing nearly $450,000 in federal and state taxes.