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.