The Rush Propst coaching tree

Seth Emerson talks to the former head coach at Hoover High about Georgia’s first two hires on the defensive staff post-Grantham, both of whom once worked on his staff.

“I’m awful proud of both of them, number one. And number two, obviously the reason Kevin has been hired is he’s a damn good football coach,” Propst said on Wednesday evening. “And the continuity of scheme and Mark (Richt’s) just making some really, really good moves. Personally I think Georgia people should be excited about what’s going to transpire defensively the next few years. The ability to recruit, the ability to coach, the ability to rally, it’s just second-to-none.”

Mark Richt is a deliberate fellow, so it always interests me when he appears to be changing directions.  If Grantham’s staff was about bringing an NFL approach to Georgia’s defense, what can we say about what Pruitt and Sherrer indicate?

The Pruitt hire was certainly flashy.  The Sherrer hire is anything but.  However, it does seem to reinforce an effort to make a better connection with high school kids, both from a recruiting and a developmental standpoint.  Will it work?  It’s too early to tell, of course, but don’t forget where both coaches first honed their skills on a collegiate level.

I sure am curious about the next two hires.


Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

66 responses to “The Rush Propst coaching tree

  1. Beer Money

    Man, Probst’s coaching tree is getting as big as his family tree!

    I know, low hanging fruit…

  2. Tom

    This shows that keeping a damn good coach in place brings positive changes. It allows that coach to search for a winning combination. The Grantham hire taught Coach Richt something, and now he is moving on. It’s a good thing!

    • The aspect of Richt I am most in awe of, is his ability to shift his thinking, and I think it’s his lack of ego that’s allowed him to do that. It’s tough for a lot of coach’s to admit what they’re doing isn’t working, but the shifts he made in his thinking since the end of the Martinez and Damon Evans era is pretty remarkable. He wasn’t always right (Grantham) but it wasn’t because he didn’t have a sound reasoning for that hire, and our former DC did leave the defense in better shape than he found it.

      So many coaches throw the kitchen sink at trying to save their job. Richt didn’t do that. He made some unflashy changes that took time to bear fruit. I still say a favorable schedule helped him too, but that does not change the fact that he created a true blueprint for embattled coaches to climb their way out of adversity, so long as they have a willing fan base and athletic department. I have to say again that I never thought the hot seat was as warm as the media made it out to be for Richt. Don’t get me wrong.. he could’ve been ousted at the end of 2011 if we didn’t turn it around after the SC loss that year.. but the majority of the fans I interacted with (this blog’s commenters, specifically) wanted him to succeed. They didn’t want to see him fired, but many of us had resigned ourselves that it may have to happen. I couldn’t be more proud of all aspects of that turnaround, and I’m thankful he had the opportunity to orchestrate it. I feel better about him as our head coach now than I ever have.

      • Vinings Dawg

        +1000. If i get to hear “The National Championship couldn’t have been won by a gentlemen with better character running a program the right way. It’s finally Mark Richt’s Bulldogs turn” as confetti falls I just may burst into tears…

      • Ron

        Wait, didn’t Richt want to Grantham around?

      • Nice post, heyberto, some good thoughts there. Most of us have wanted Richt to succeed and have never supported the idea that he be fired. He brings so many good things to the table. You said it well.

        I feel better about him as our head coach now than I ever have.

        This is the only thing I would differ with, just a little. Though I’m feeling good about what Richt is doing right now, I can’t say I feel as good about him as I did in his first 5 years, when we were a solid team. When I see that, a solid football team, I’ll have that same feeling about Richt again.

        But the program is head and shoulders above where it was 3 weeks ago, and I very much like the direction. Like Bluto said, I can’t wait to see who the next 2 coaches are. So far, it’s great. And there are rumors of support staff – not assistants, but player-development type coaching hires – which I’m all for.

        But even with a solid defense, Richt still has to figure out how to get his team not to beat itself. It’s an interesting problem. It’s a team game, but sloppy offensive play and special teams also cost us games this season.

        However, I suspect the overall quality of play – playing smart, doing the little things, and all that – is greatly affected by the overall synergy of the coaching staff. Certainly that is true of ST’s. And in that area Richt has been hobbled hte last 9 years. I think that is clear now.

        Because of that, I was depressed when Grantham wasn’t fired because I saw nothing but a continued slide as a team. Now, all that has changed. And not just because of defense alone. It’s also the holistic health of the team overall.

    • IAmAGurleyMan

      I’m confused. As I recall, Richt chose to keep Grantham.

  3. Cousin Eddie

    I would not be surprised if one of the next guys have NFL experience. BELIN, would be nice to bring back.

    • Go Dawgs!

      Oh snap, is that even possible? Special teams problem: solved.

      • He is at Wake Forest. Momma called.

      • Olddawg 55

        I know he’s a WF alum, and has had the Athens experience but they should really go after him, if at all possible. Great with LBs and had the Vandy special teams at a high note. Whoever, and I know they have a list, I just wish they would move out with speed. Player development: Rush Probst..winner of the Bobby Petrino prize for comebacks?>?

    • What fresh hell is this?

      I’ll take the high school coach who can teach kids how to tackle vs a coach with NFL experience teaching complicated sets with no tackling skills, especially one who reached the summit of his career through the peter principle about 5 yrs ago.

      • SouthGaDawg

        Agreed. We should see better fundamentals next year on defense. We really couldn’t get any worse with the Grantham Gang.

  4. Go Dawgs!

    I find it interesting that Coach Propst praised his former assistants’ recruiting abilities. I, along with the AHSAA, was always under the impression that those superstar athletes just happened to live in Hoover High School’s district!

  5. TomReagan

    Congratulations, Senator. You’ve managed to highlight the one negative the new guys have.😉

  6. C'mon guys

    Any of you know Coach Propst? Met him? Talked to him? Know anything more than what you have read about? Maybe if you took the time to ask someone who knows him, take the time to learn his story, you would realize that he understands more than anyone how much he screwed up in his past. That he realizes more than anything that what he did was wrong. You would also know that the guy who showed up in Colquitt County was a better person than the one who coached in Hoover, and that the guy who survived cancer a couple of years back turned his life to the Lord. But you wouldn’t know any of that. Because all you do is judge and talk down about someone you don’t know. I hear all this talk about his character. Let me ask you all this: What does it say about your own character when you hold the sins of a man’s past in the way of his attempts to change his life? But, I guess TomReagan is the one Jesus was looking for when he said “let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

    • I don’t think slander was intended here. Just an attempt at humor at his expense on a football blog. If your a coach in the public eye your gonna get some of that. Look at Petrino. I confess I chuckled. I’ve seen a whole lot worse. And it’s not like he tried to commit suicide. Glad to know Coach Propst is doing well. Glad to know that in spite of stumbling he has friends that care about him. That’s a good thing.

    • stuckinred

      Whoop tee doo.

    • Dawgfan Will

      The perils of being a public figure. It’s why I’m perfectly happy toiling in obscurity.

    • Hackerdog

      I apologize. Never again will I maintain that having a long term mistress, siring a bastard by said mistress, and having other extra-marital affairs with coworkers are bad things. I know one of my library books is overdue, so I certainly can’t cast the first stone.

      • C'mon guys

        You are so much smarter than the rest of us. Nobody else realized that those things are wrong! I am glad you were able to come down from your ivory tower to inform us. Seriously, everyone realizes what he did was wrong. Do you keep a record and pay for every bad thing you have ever done in your life? Get past it. Or just keep being a self righteous judgmental ignorant ass.

        • Hackerdog

          You think right and wrong are universally and innately understood? I beg to differ. Society’s sense of morality is fluid and ever changing. And part of that fluidity is due to self righteous, judgmental, ignorant asses insisting that nobody is allowed to point out that having a long-term mistress, siring a bastard by said mistress, and then blowing up a family in order to start over with family 2.0 is immoral behavior.

          Yes, I’ve sinned in my life. Of course, nothing quite so bad as what Propst has done. And, if someone wanted to point out my poor behavior as an example of what not to do, I certainly wouldn’t be insufferable enough to insist that everybody just shut up and assist me in white washing my past.

          • Dog in Fla

            I have learned much today about siring a bastard😯

            Not as much as I learned from page 153 of Luther Butler’s seminal work,”Bastard,” but much indeed

            “My brother was the one who sired this Bastard through a stockade fence.”

          • Cosmic Dawg

            +1. There ought to be some social consequences for a sustained and deliberate spitting on your wife and children, and a stray comment on GTP is hardly piling on, IMHO. He also chose a high profile job in the community and voluntarily became a television personality.

            Let’s also make a distinction between the “cosmic” judgment which none of us are qualified to pass, and judgment in the defense of reason and ethics that we are certainly expected to make use of.

            I have no desire to slag on the guy, but I think we’ve become a little quick to make the “absolution press conference” a magic wand, and these “redemption” stories are often cast as hero’s journeys. It minimizes the real victims’ pain and focuses on the pain of the dirtbag – we follow the story and get cheap thrills from his infidelity, cheap sadness for his kids, a cheap self-righteous feeling for being faithful to our wives, then a cheap warm fuzzy feeling as he bravely bears the scorn of the community to emerge a changed man.

            Again, I don’t want to seek him out to throw eggs at him, and I hope he’s cancer free and has mended all his fences, etc. But I wouldn’t be super crazy about my kid’s high school administration if they hired him, either.

    • Dog in Fla

      Rush doesn’t mind having the TV talk about him. And if he lets the TV talk about him, why can’t we because all we do is judge and talk down about someone we don’t know except for the TV and

      “Propst presented some unusual challenges to the ESPN producers and crew, he said. He wanted to do his sit-down, on-camera interview late at night, so the whole crew showed up at 11:30 p.m. and worked until 4:30 a.m. – something Houser said he had never encountered in his career.

      The coach apparently has trouble sleeping and seems to come alive at night [me too!], and the late-night interview went very well [unlike any of mine ever do], Houser said. “I found him being incredibly open to everything we discussed,” he said.

      He appreciated the willingness of Propst and his new wife to share about some very intimate private moments [whenever I try to share intimate private moments with my numerous wives, all of them usually threaten me with a restraining order], as well as personal photographs that had never been seen publicly, he said.”

      I mean it’s not like he did block scheduling or anything

    • FisheriesDawg

      I don’t know the man personally, but his public persona is still that he’s an ass. He continues to burn bridges with other HS coaches in the state with his whining and self-entitlement.

    • TomReagan

      I didn’t mention a word about the guy’s personal life, but you don’t need to get into his personal life. He’s done more than enough on camera, on the sidelines, and in the press to expect half ass jokes at his expense.

      • C'mon guys

        Would that be the coaching from the sidelines? The getting upset when bad calls go against his team? Is that when he rubs in his wins over coaches who have done the same to him? Or maybe it was when he was not ok with another team stealing his play calls by paying a former coach to watch from the stands with binoculars (on tape btw). Either way, I am sure they are not things that you would be fine with the coach from your school doing.

        • TomReagan

          If you don’t watch out, ‘C’mon guys’ may enter the lexicon as a reference to random posters who prop up to make overzealous defenses of folks who weren’t really attacked in the first place.

          You’re making me feel like I’m on the 6A high school vent. We’ve got references to that clown coach from Lowndes County and everything!

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      FWIW I’m fine with Coach Probst. He made mistakes and he is trying to straighten out his life. Good luck to him and his family. He’s a damn fine football coach and as best I can see has had a positive effect on hundreds of young people, many of whom have gotten college scholarships as a result of playing in his program, and adult coaches with whom he has worked over the years.

    • Otto

      One cousin went to Hoover and another went to a rival HS. Their problems with him weren’t just away from football field but the way kids were treated. I pray he has changed his ways. I do not wish harm to him but my kid would not play for him.

      Further, Propst’s actions are not even close to completely telling of coaches who may have been in his program at the time. It is something to consider and for CMR to judge. As I have posted on here I do not trust CMR with every direction of the UGA program but, I do trust him to hire coach’s of good character that will positively impact the kids, and if they do not he will let them go.

    • Lrgk9

      There is a difference between forgiveness and a pardon. Most on here freely forgive in the spirit of Grace. To restore one to his worldly rights and privileges and trust – that is a pardon and must be earned in the world of Caesar.

  7. I like the two hires so far — obviously love the Pruitt hire, and I like the background of Sherrer. The high school background can be a plus. But I can’t lie, I do hope we add at least one grizzled veteran-type coach. Not talking necessarily old school, but a guy like Belin (as mentioned by lots of others) would be fantastic.

    • Macallanlover

      I am also keeping an open mind on the Sherrer hire and willing to trust Pruitt’s judgment. It’s his arse that is exposed and I bet he works harder on making sure that Sherrer is up to snuff than the staff members he inherited. Having a close confidant by your side is always a good thing for a leader….as long as you don’t surround yourself with all members of your posse (like Nixon, Elvis, Oh bama, etc.) That level of incestuous hiring will bring you down. Having Pruitt get 2-3 picks if a nice balance of current and new for him to start with, as the Senator says, we will see where it goes. Gots to have li’l faith Brothers and Sistas.

  8. Slaw Dawg

    Re: the next 2 hires, perhaps it’ll keep with the trend of follicly challenged Alabamians. Since that strategy worked pretty well from 1964-1980, it’s okay with me.

  9. Normaltown Mike

    Next 2 hires?

    Nick Saban and John Gruden.

    • Don’t lock into just those two. We can interview Belichick now too, since the Pats have lost. That’s probably why the hiring process had been slow to this point, waiting on them to lose.

  10. Mg4life0331

    Go Pack Go!

  11. Bright Idea

    4 young buck but somewhat inexperienced college level coaches on defense won’t bother me IF Richt keeps a close eye on the defense and at least one hand in the mix. Call the timeouts in practice and in the office, not in the middle of the game on 3rd and long when we have 10 or 12 on the field.

  12. Will Trane

    I support the Bulldog Club and the Packer program. Probst took a lot of flack when he came on board at CCHS. Go watch his practices, watch his teams play, watch his sidelines, watch his game management, player utilization…dare say there are some D1 programs envious of how he runs a prgoram.

  13. Will Trane

    Amazed at the attacks on Probst, Pruitt, Hoover, and etc. High school football is at a very high level of coaching and playing today. Go watch Valdosta High, Lowndes High, Camden High, Tifton High. There are some very good coaches there. Bobo was in Lowndes last week. Hell the ESPN game day bus was at CCHS this past season.

  14. Swanguardt

    We need to hire one of Buford’s assistants they seem to be good coaches that win every year and man can they recruit

  15. 81Dog

    Far as Probst goes, if he’s owned up to his mistakes, resolved to do better, and he’s good at his day job, I see no problem with giving him a second chance. Heck, he could get elected Senator in Massachusetts, or maybe even Governor in Arkansas. On the other hand, when you screw up, part of owning it means taking the jokes (mean spirited or not) in stride. If he really has changed his ways, people will see that.

    • Well said sir. That ex wife of his sure took one on the chin though. Hope she did alright. I had a asphalt contractor come home to Athens early after an out of state hwy paving project. Found a gentleman at his house, in his night robe, in his easy chair, drinking coffee from his favorite mug. He called me to get him out of the pokey. Didn’t end well for all involved. Yikes!
      .And It’s not like he tried to commit suicide after winning a million dollar settlement for goodness sakes.😉

      • Dog in Fla

        “I had a asphalt contractor come home to Athens….Found a gentleman at his house, in his night robe, in his easy chair, drinking coffee from his favorite mug.”

        And the moral of the story is that while the gentleman found no fault with the wife’s ass…

        • Hah! That was a sad day. The gentleman ended up traveling through the bay window. Asphalt contractor ended up in the pokey and I missed my son’s soccer game because of it all. As far as I know they are both still single. Kids are grown. What a mess.

        • 81Dog

          “I once shot an asphalt contractor in my pajamas. What he was doing in my pajamas, I’ll never know.”

    • Dog in Fla

      “Heck, he could get elected Senator in Massachusetts, or maybe even Governor in Arkansas.”

      I think not. Instead of letting a girlfriend stay in the water a little longer or settling with her, he married her. With that kind of behavior, he couldn’t even qualify to get on the ballot in Louisiana.

  16. mg4life0331

    For all the slack the Propst gets…Im surprised noone is making fun of Derwood. Oh well, he cracks me up and I like the color commentary. However, Im sure a high falutin Atlantian would mock such southern charm.

  17. ScoutDawg

    Senator, that damn Effin Chuck Oliver was talking about you today.

  18. hunkerdowndawg

    I read all these comments and have no idea what any of y’all are talking about. But, I am in a cold ass Kansas City whorehouse eating Oklahoma Joe’s ribs and drinking Boulevard beer while listening to The Who’s Tommy so I guess it’s all good. Just kidding, I’m not in a whorehouse, it’s a Hilton Garden Inn. Oh, and I thought Jeff Probst did a good job on Survivor Vanuatu even if he did sleep with one of those half-naked women.