Valdosta (Georgia) names Shelton Felton interim head football coach

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Acting Valdosta High School head football coach Shelton Felton is now the school’s interim head football coach for the 2021 high school football season.

Felton was named was named acting head coach last month after the school district fired Rush Propst. Felton, who was hired as an assistant coach in March, was approved unanimously as the program’s interim coach earlier this week.

Prior to being hired by America’s winningest high school football program, Felton was an outside linebackers coach at the University of Tennessee. He was fired in January for cause during the school’s investigation into recruiting violations.

Felton served as the head coach at Crisp County in Georgia where he led the school to a 13-1 record, advancing to the state semifinals in his final season there in 2016.

The latest move by Valdosta ends a very rough offseason for the school and its football program.

Propst’s firing on April 27 came on the heals of the Georgia High School Association rejecting the school’s appeal of sanctions leveled against the program under Propst direction. Last month, the GHSA fined the Valdosta High School football program $7,500 and banned it from the 2021 Georgia high school playoffs for rules violations relating to recruiting and a lack of administrative control. In addition, the school is on probation for the upcoming season and was forced to forfeit seven 2020 wins in which ineligible players were used.

Most believed the April firing closed the book his one season with the Wildcats, which made national news after a secretly-recorded conversation with former booster club member Michael “Nub” Nelson was made public. During the conversation Propst, who was hired by Valdosta last spring, told Nelson he needed “funny money” to help pay for living expenses for players and their families who moved into the district.

Under the GHSA sanctions, Valdosta won’t be able to participate in the state playoffs this season.

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About the Author

Jeff Fisher
Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America. Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet. Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.