Former Colquitt County football coach Rush Propst, fired last week after 11 seasons that brought the Packers 119 wins and two state championships, issued a statement on his ouster for the first time Tuesday. He called the Colquitt County superintendent’s investigation unfair and many of the allegations ‘’totally false’’ or ‘’misleading.’’ He said he was not aware of the specific allegations that led to his firing until he read them in the media last week and was given no chance to answer them.
The investigation, conducted by schools superintendent Doug Howell, alleged that Propst violated ethics rules related to honesty, public funds and property, legal compliance and conduct with students, according to the Moultrie Observer.
More specifically, Howell’s report stated that Propst had provided over-the-counter medication to student-athletes despite instructions against it, interfered with the hiring of a principal, attempted to charge a personal hotel stay to the school system, owed more than $300,000 in back taxes and failed to control the behavior of his players, particularly after the 2018 state-championship game against Milton, which Colquitt County lost.
Propst reached out Tuesday afternoon to AJC.com to respond, although declined further questions beyond a statement.
Propst, the highest-paid and most widely known coach in Georgia, won state championships in 2014 and 2015 and led the Packers to semifinal finishes or better in nine of the past 10 seasons. He came to Moultrie in 2008 after winning five state titles at Hoover in Alabama, where he became nationally known through the MTV series “Two-A-Days.’’
Propst’s statement read:
“I greatly appreciate the many words of support and encouragement I have received during the last week from so many people throughout our community. It has meant a great deal to me and my family.
“I believe that certain individuals conducted an investigation into me that they shrouded in secrecy. They developed the conclusions of the investigation before they determined the facts. The entire process was extremely unfair to me. In fact, I was never interviewed and didn’t learn of the allegations, despite requests, until I read the paper Friday. I want to assure everyone that much of the information presented is totally false and the rest is misleading half-truths meant to damage my reputation and support pre-determined actions. As a coach, I always expect ‘fair play,’ but I don’t believe it has happened in this instance.
“I have been blessed with a very successful 38 plus-year coaching career. In the 11 years I’ve been here, we have built a great program and helped hundreds of students get college scholarships and many more young men begin successful lives in their communities. I am very proud of our success in Colquitt County.
“There has been a lot of speculation and rumor because of the way Mr. Howell pursued this investigation and how he distributed his conclusions. It is very sad to see this create division in our community. Please don’t join too quickly in arguments with friends and family.
“I look forward to addressing the many false and misleading statements made about me in the very near future. In the meantime, I am assessing my options.’’
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