PIEDMONT – It hasn’t been uncommon for football coaches from around Alabama to enroll their kids at Piedmont High School.
Former Jacksonville State and current UAB head coach Bill Clark, former JSU assistant and current Cedartown, Ga., assistant coach Mike Bennefield, and former Wadley and Randolph County head coach Randy Sparks have all had their kids within the Piedmont school system the past several years.
The trend continues in 2021 with former Hoover, Colquitt County, Ga., and Valdosta, Ga., head coach Rush Propst’s three children: Thomas, a junior; Mary Catherine, a sophomore; and John David, a freshman.
The Propsts recently enrolled at Piedmont High School. Bulldog head coach Steve Smith said Thomas and John David Propst have been working out with the football team this week.
“I think more than anything else it speaks to the program and the school system we have at Piedmont, that people think highly enough to want to bring their kids to Piedmont,” Smith said. “It’s a testimony to the things we’ve got going on here at our school, both academically and within our athletic program.”
Smith said Rush Propst, an Ohatchee native and former Jacksonville State football player, contacted him about returning to the Calhoun County area to settle down.
“He had talked to some of his friends and people he trusted a lot. They gave him a couple of schools they would consider if they were moving into the area, and ours was one of them,” Smith said. “That’s kind of how it got started.
“He and his wife came by, sat down one day and talked about what they were looking to do. It was right before school got out. They were going to have to be making some life-changing decisions, talking about selling a home six hours away or ever how far away it is to Moultrie (Ga.).”
The often-controversial Rush Propst is perhaps best known in Alabama for his high school football coaching days at Hoover High School, where he won 110 games and five state championships in nine years (1999-2007). The 2005 and 2006 seasons were the subject of an MTV reality TV series called “Two-A-Days.”
Following his resignation at Hoover, Rush Propst landed in Georgia, where he coached at Colquitt County High School near Moultrie. He guided the Packers to 119 wins and two state championships from 2008-18.
After being relieved of his coaching duties following the 2018 season, Rush Propst became a head football coach again at Valdosta High School in 2020. The Wildcats reached the state semifinals last season under his guidance.
However, Rush Propst was recently dismissed as head coach by the Valdosta Board of Education following misconduct allegations in which the Georgia High School Athletic Association ordered the school to forfeit seven wins.
Rush Propst has also had head coaching stints in Alabama at Ashville (1989-93), Eufaula (1993-96), Alba (1997), and Alma Bryant (1998).
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