Former 'Two-A-Days' football coach gets a second chance in Georgia
By Christopher Rocchio, 11/05/2008
Rush Propst is apparently making the most of a second chance.
The former head football coach at Alabama's Hoover High School -- which was the subject of MTV's Two-A-Days reality series -- is currently helming the squad at Georgia's Colquitt County High, The New York Timesreported Wednesday.
Two-A-Days aired two seasons on MTV and followed Hoover High during the 2005 and 2006 football seasons. However in June 2007, two Hoover High teachers claimed to know of grade changings and other academic improprieties involving former seniors who had also suited-up for the school's Buccaneers football program.
As a result, former Northern District of Alabama judge Sam C. Pointer Jr. led an investigation into the allegations as well as other concerns.
It concluded that Propst may have had a hand in changing player's grades and encouraging teachers to grant preferential treatment to athletes, according to The Times, and specifically referenced two ineligible players involved in a junior varsity game that Propst attended but did not coach.
While Propst denied involvement in grade changing and other classroom-related charges, The Times reported he admitted to not reporting football violations and also acknowledged an extramarital relationship. He subsequently "quit under duress" following Hoover High's final game last season.
"I should not have resigned," Propst told The Times. "If I had stayed, I think I'd be dead today of a heart attack."
Despite the ugliness, Colquitt County High principal Bob Jones and two other educators persuaded the district's school board to hire Propst as the school's new football coach this year -- and provide him a $95,000 salary that comes with the position.
"This is a community of second chances," Jones told The Times. "Any community that prides itself on strong morals, this could have been a concern. I think he had to sell himself."
Although he faced a lengthy evaluation process and doubting school board members, Propst was still given the job of leading Colquitt's football team.
"He 'fessed up, admitted he did some inappropriate things," Colquitt booster Hugh Ward told The Times.
Propst said he has received "nothing but positives" since taking the job.
"It's shocked me," Propst told The Times.
Colquitt has a chance to wind up with a .500 record if they can win Friday's season finale, and Tim Henry -- who nominated Propst for the position -- said Colquitt is interested in locking him up for the long term.
"[Propst] is getting 100% backing from the community," Henry told The Times. "That does not mean he has a blank check to do anything."
Propst told The Times he's "as fired up as ever" and is interested in improving Colquitt's football program via an expanded staff, more weight equipment and artificial turn on the field.
"We can't just keep up with the Joneses," he told The Times. "We've got to pass them."