High school football: Valdosta parts ways with controversial head coach Rush Propst

Staff Report | MaxPreps.com Friday, April 30, 2021 3:00pm

School board elects not renew contract following allegations of mishandling money and recruiting.

The Valdosta Daily Times was among those reporting Thursday that controversial high school football coach Rush Propst will not return to Valdosta (Ga.) next season. In February, he was the subject of a lengthy deposition that alleged he was involved in recruiting, mishandling money and even interfering in the hiring process that brought him to the program to begin with.

The deposition is part of a lawsuit brought on the City of Valdosta Board of Education by plaintiff Leah Rodemaker, wife of former Valdosta football coach Alan Rodemaker, who was let go after the 2019 season.

Propst owns a career record of 299-92 – including 7-5 in his lone season at Valdosta – and has won seven state titles during a high-profile, 30-year career. He garnered national attention while at Hoover (Ala.), which was featured on MTV's popular "Two-A-Days" reality show. He resigned there in 2007 mired in controversy over numerous in-house allegations, including grade-tampering and an admitted extra-marital affair.

He was dismissed at Colquitt County (Norman Park, Ga.) in 2019 after being charged with lack of compliance, improper conduct with students, dishonesty and misuse of public funds and property. Reports indicate he gave pills to students "on more than one occasion" and owed nearly $450,000 in delinquent federal and state taxes.



Michael Nelson, who has been involved with the Valdosta Touchdown Club booster organization for many years, said in his sworn deposition that Propst, among other things, paid for housing for two transfers, facilitated recruiting of players with the help of college coaches, asked for a "funny money" slush fund and meddled in his own hiring process.
Rush Propst looks on during a loss to rival Lowndes in October.
Photo by Gary McCullough
Rush Propst looks on during a loss to rival Lowndes in October.