HOOVER, Ala. — Rush Propst, while preparing for the USA Football 7on7 national championship, got good news on Thursday.
Propst, the coach of Colquitt County (Moultrie, Ga.), which has won back-to-back state titles, heard that his impending season-long suspension for head-butting a player last season had been reduced to a reprimand, which would allow him to continue to coach this season.
“I just heard a few hours ago,” Propst said at the Hoover Metropolitan Stadium, where he once coached games for Hoover High, where he won five state titles, including four in a row from 2002 to 2005. “Obviously, that’s good news.”
Two months ago, the Georgia Professional Standards Commission suspended Propst for a year because of a head-butting incident involving Propst and Colquitt kicker Luis Martinez during the Class AAAAAA state semifinal last fall at Mill Creek (Hoschton).
Propst appealed the decision and after negotiations with Propst’s attorney, Michael Strickland and the Georgia Attorney General’s office, the suspension was reduced to a public reprimand, which means Propst will not have to sit out any games.
In a written statement, Propst said he regretted how the incident may have had an negative impact but he appreciated the fairness of those involved in his appeal.
“I regret that this incident has in any way reflected negatively on my hometown of Moultrie, Georgia, the Colquitt County High School, its football program, players and their accomplishments,” the statement read. “Our coaches, football players, cheerleaders, band, fans and entire Moultrie community have worked very hard for our success in football and I do not want their hard work and success overshadowed by this incident.
“I am thankful for the Georgia Professional Standards Commission for considering all the facts and agreeing to a reprimand. I also appreciate the Attorney General’s office for being fair in this matter.”
Paul Shaw, the GPSC’s director of educator ethics, said that Propst shouldn’t have to butt heads to inspire his players.
“He’s certainly been very successful, but I think that he will, hopefully, look for new ways to motivate the kids and continue to be successful,” Shaw told The Moultrie Observer. “We feel like a mistake was made, but let’s move on, and let’s all learn from it. We all make mistakes,” he added.