UAB should hire Georgia high school coach, writes columnist

Alabama-Birmingham could benefit from hiring a Georgia high school coach as the college team’s head football coach, in the opinion of an Alabama columnist.

It must be noted that UAB currently has a coach, Neil Callaway, the former UGA offensive coordinator.

Rush Propst is the head coach at Georgia’s Colquitt County High School.

al.com’s Josh Bean wrote that “UAB could benefit from hiring a man with such clout” as Propst, who is the former coach at Alabama’s Hoover High School.

Here’s more from the column:

It’s time for a change. It’s time for UAB’s leadership to do something audacious, to transform its football program in much the same way it elevated the basketball program by hiring Gene Bartow.

UAB athletic director Brian Mackin can do it with two simple words: Rush Propst.

Let’s face it: People will pay attention to Propst, a polarizing figure in Birmingham and one of the most famous — and infamous — coaches our state has produced in a generation.

In a phone interview from south Georgia where he now coaches at Colquitt County High, Propst said he still harbors ambitions of coaching in college and remains interested in the UAB job. He also went to great lengths to praise Callaway, a friend, and noted he is friends with other members of the UAB staff and has former players on the team.

UAB has never averaged more than 25,000 home fans in a single season thanks to the towering shadows cast by Alabama and Auburn. Think folks will show up to see if Propst can duplicate his high school success on the college level? I’m betting he’d win more than 15 games in four seasons.

And so what if he’s never coached in college? Joey Jones seems to have made the transition from high school to college with absurd ease at South Alabama, going 17-0 in two seasons after cutting his coaching teeth at Mountain Brook High, also in suburban Birmingham. Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn hasn’t been shabby either since trading preps for college.

Propst’s polarizing personality — people either love him or hate him, with few in the middle — is Exhibit A for why UAB should hire him when the job inevitably opens.

UAB and Propst flirted unofficially during his time at Hoover. “I thought the fit with UAB would have been a perfect transition to putting people in the stands,” Propst said.

The fit might be better now. Propst’s spread offense has flourished at Colquitt County — in much the same way it did at Hoover — and the pass-happy scheme has spread across the Deep South. Propst possesses the right mix of cockiness and confidence to excel in recruiting, there are plenty of high school stars playing in similar systems, and you know he’d be motivated to prove his ability.

Propst survived a cancer scare, lost weight and pledges that he’s had a religious epiphany since his exile from Hoover. UAB shouldn’t care. It needs a coach who can energize a moribund program.

To read the rest of Bean’s column, please go here

Thoughts? Please post below.

17 comments Add your comment

powder2424

June 10th, 2011
1:07 am

cantondawg

June 10th, 2011
1:18 am

Coach Propst coached at Cherokee High School during my junior year in 1986. I knew then that he would be a great coach. Everybody loved him and we hated to see him leave. He made you excited about playing football. Wish him the best of luck

Tom

June 10th, 2011
1:18 am

If you saw Propst on that reality show, he clearly lack character. He was forced out of Hoover because of character problems. I know that some college coaches are far from saints, but if UAB wants character behind their hire, stay away from Propst. I would not want my child playing for him, and I am sure there are others that would agree.

Jeremiah

June 10th, 2011
7:05 am

Read the comments on that blog. Not a single UAB fan wants anything to do with Rush.

Taylor Wootte

June 10th, 2011
7:54 am

As a UAB graduate, I would absolutely LOVE to see Propst at UAB.

Go get him please!!

UABMan

June 10th, 2011
7:56 am

It would be a great move if UAB brought Propst on. The guy does know how to win football games, generate excitement. Something the football team is lacking of late.

Hope they can get him.

Paul Ensign

June 10th, 2011
10:46 am

I would not want Propst withing 200 miles of UAB. I would rather have three monkeys slinging poo than that scumbag. Bean is a moron and would not know a fact if it bit him. GO BLAZERS!

CCHSfan

June 10th, 2011
11:37 am

Having graduated from Colquitt County and having seen him in action and what he can do to a football program, as well as how much discipline he instills in his players and how much the players respect him, I think all of you who are calling him a scumbag need to keep your ignorant opinions to yourselves. So you watched a tv show and saw what happens on a high school football team? If you watched any other football team you would see the same. If you will notice in the article he has changed a lot just in recent months after his cancer scare. Whatever the reason is, whatever he has done in his past, no matter what rumors you have heard he has done everything that has been asked of him here in Colquitt County and although I hope he stays for the team’s sake, I doubt anyone could fault him for pursuing bigger and better opportunities. I have no doubt that UAB would not regret the choice if they were to hire him.

Paul Ensign

June 10th, 2011
11:52 am

Guess what? UAB is not hiring him so this is all moot. He needs to be thankful someone hired him and STFU crying about a job he was never a candidate for in the first place. You reap what you sow and he sowed plenty no pun intended. There is a reason no one in the state wanted him and it has nothing to do with that TV show. NO ONE wants him ANYWHERE near UAB.

Stilltryingtobeagoodnole

June 10th, 2011
12:53 pm

The fans from Colquitt County think this guy is the next coming to Jesus Christ, Paul and you should be careful. I am pretty sure bean has no clue at all and comparing Neil to Rushy is a big joke if you asked me. A man with no college experience to a man that has coached in coaches for over a few decades. I don’t see where there is a comparisions but Bean do. Go figure. You are dead on and if Propst had a clue he would won the state championship last year but he didn’t.

Stilltryingtobeagoodnole

June 10th, 2011
12:57 pm

CCHSFAN, UAB won’t only regretted hiring him but will more than likely never win there conference title for rules voilations that will come with Propst. It was said he was recruiting at Hoover and he is doing the same thing here in Colquitt County. He is able to get away with it in high school, but the NCAA will be all over him like white on rice and he will destory the UAB program if he is allowed to become coach.

UABrandon

June 10th, 2011
5:16 pm

Callaway is a loser and should not have gotten a contract extension for doing nothing but losing but I am not sure is Propst is the answer. He has a questionable ethical background, plus he would not solve any of the problems that Bean wrote about. Bean knows NOTHING about UAB or its unique situation. UAB’s main problem in terms of fan support stems from where they play their games, in Legion Field in the middle of the ghetto. No one wants to go there. If they put a small stadium on campus fans would go to see UAB.

rjm

June 11th, 2011
5:59 am

Propst has 2 families. No way he will be UABs head coach.

Slinger

June 11th, 2011
11:50 am

Sounds to me like the Propst PR machine has a satellite office at UAB.

Lowndes Viking

June 11th, 2011
10:33 pm

Coach Rush is 1-5 against Lowndes and Valdosta in 1-AAAAA since he has been at Colquitt. Colquitt sold their souls to the devil when they hired this guy. McPherson, Tomberlin, and Gillespie have beaten him. No way I would let my son play for this man.

Championship Game

June 11th, 2011
11:52 pm

Is this the same Propst that coached the team that gave up 52 points in the Georgia AAAAA championship game?….and if there had been another quarter remaining Brookwood would have hit 70. Hire him, toss out your defense and lock up your wife and daughters.

GEORGIA COACH

July 15th, 2011
9:17 am

Recruiting is now the life blood of the better programs in Georgia..With the city schools recruiting all over the metro area, Propst should fit in well in Georgia with the recruiting…He has a QB now who came from North Georgia, and no telling how many more….GHSA should put asterisks by the State Champion teams in football and basketball because they are all playing with recruited players….baseball too….this restocking of the teams with recruits each year is something that needs to be stopped…but don’t bet that it will….somebody might get sued and the GHSA is petrified of lawyers…Teams can’t play for a state title every year playing with players only from their district, no district has those type of players year end and year out…So we know recruiting is going on, and the GHSA is looking the other way….