Columnists From Around the Country Remember Skip Prosser

July 27, 2007

| Local & Statewide Media | National Media | Media Around the Country | Television Coverage |

Local & Statewide Media

Bill Cole, Winston-Salem Journal
"The people who came to know Skip Prosser in the last six years valued him as much for his friendship and company as they did for his ability to build a basketball team."
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Dan Collins, Winston-Salem Journal
"Skip Prosser came to coach basketball at Wake Forest because it was in a conference, and an area of the country, with a deep passion for the game."
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John Dell, Winston-Salem Journal
"Through his job at the Forsyth Humane Society, Rex Welton got to know Skip and Nancy Prosser very well. So well, in fact, that he got to see a side of Prosser that few people see."
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John Dell, Winston-Salem Journal
"It wasn't a planned dinner with Skip Prosser, but it kind of turned out that way. One night last month, my wife, our two children (ages 4 and 2) and I walked into Alex's Café near Hanes Park for the first time. The only table open was near one that Prosser was sharing with his oldest son Scott, 28."
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John Delong, Winston-Salem Journal
"Kyle Visser was home in Michigan yesterday when he heard of Skip Prosser's death. Visser broke down and cried."
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Lenox Rawlings, Winston-Salem Journal
"As news of Skip Prosser's death spread on a summer afternoon, the montage of mental images included those somber moments in distant cities at the end of Wake Forest basketball seasons. Nobody wanted to win more than Skip Prosser, and nobody took the last loss harder."
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Lenox Rawlings, Winston-Salem Journal
"In their dark hours, Skip Prosser's friends long for someone to lighten the load. Someone like Skip Prosser. He can't perform his customary role in his usual way."
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Robert Bell, Greensboro News-Record
"Sure he was a basketball coach -- pretty good one, too -- but to Wake Forest students, fans and alumni, Skip Prosser was so much more."
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Rob Daniels, Greensboro News & Record
"Only a couple of weeks ago, Skip Prosser lamented another casualty of the electronic culture. Wary of self-appointed, emboldened, empowered Everymen with a digital camera, an Internet connection and an insatiable desire to mislead, the Wake Forest basketball coach said he no longer went to restaurants to watch sports or do anything else."
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Ed Hardin, Greensboro News & Record
"The shock that passed over this city Thursday afternoon was slow and numbing. The news that came painfully from Wake Forest University was hard to process and even harder to believe."
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Ed Hardin, Greensboro News & Record
"Skip Prosser was waiting for me, and I was warned accordingly. The basketball season had been over for six months. The football team at Wake Forest was a week away from playing its first game, but Prosser was still upset over something I'd written in March."
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Bill Hass, TheACC.com
"The brain can be selective about what it remembers and forgets, but occasionally there are moments indelibly etched into the memory banks. Here are two I recall about Skip Prosser."
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David Scott, Charlotte Observer
"As Justin Gray struggled through his senior basketball season at Wake Forest, he knew he had coach Skip Prosser's support."
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Caulton Tudor, Raleigh News & Observer
"A part of a sports columnist's job is to occasionally criticize and second guess, and it probably goes without saying that I've done my share of both over the years."
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Bob Sutton, Burlington Times News
"Skip Prosser made you use your dictionary. He used big words and an expanded vocabulary. Stop on campus or at Lawrence Joel Coliseum to talk some basketball and you might leave feeling as if you sat through a lecture in a literary class. But you learned something."
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Bob Sutton, Burlington Times News
"In only a few minutes as Saturday's triathlon participants darted around the Lake Cammack Park and Marina grounds, the action created all sorts of imagines. From a collegiate athletics perspective, there was plenty to digest."
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Brett Friedlander, FayObserver.com
"Skip Prosser never really set out to be a big-time college basketball coach. Truth be told, his ambition in life was to become a high school history teacher. He only got into coaching because he had to do it as part of the job."
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Michael Jennings, DeaconSports.com
"As the news filtered out yesterday that Skip Prosser had succumbed to a heart attack, my mind drifted back to the many mes I had the pleasure to talk with him over the past several years."
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Barry Jacobs, WRAL.com
"I spent an hour over breakfast with Skip Prosser in a hotel restaurant just two weeks ago tomorrow. We both avoided the fatty foods and sweets on the all-you-can-eat buffet, and discovered in the course of our chat that we were born two days apart in November 1950."
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National Media

Andy Katz, ESPN.com
"My 23-month-old son was being his normal, vocal self behind me. I was on the phone with Wake Forest coach Skip Prosser Wednesday morning, and Prosser asked me about my family, my wife, my nearly 5-year-old daughter and my son. And before I could answer, Prosser told me how much better being a parent is as your children get older."
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Andy Katz, ESPN.com
"Doug Wojcik was in Las Vegas Thursday, wandering out from gym to gym looking for a familiar face to share his grief. He couldn't find anyone, especially someone who could fully understand his pain. Wojcik, the Tulsa head coach, is one of the closest coaches to Prosser."
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Andy Katz, ESPN.com
"Mike Muse already had set out on his career path. He was a high school coach. He was in his mid-40s. But there was always something missing for him, a dream deferred that he couldn't quell. He wanted to compete for a national championship -- in Division I men's basketball. So, after working Wake Forest's camps for Skip Prosser for three years and attending nearly 20 practices a season, he jumped at the chance to replace Tim Fuller as Prosser's director of basketball operations in June 2006."
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Gene Wojciechowski, ESPN.com
"They're burying Skip Prosser this Saturday in Cincinnati. He died on an office couch a week ago. Of all the places the incandescently nice Prosser shouldn't have died, alone in his Wake Forest basketball office on a weekday morning would have been right up there."
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Dick Vitale, ESPN.com
"I was stunned and shocked when I received the phone call. I was in Toronto with my buddy Dan Shulman following a speaking engagement when I was informed Wake Forest coach Skip Prosser had passed away after suffering a heart attack."
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Fran Fraschilla, ESPN.com
"This is not an easy column to write. I've often thought of basketball as the playground of life, and Thursday it lost one of its nicest guys."
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Mike DeCourcey, SportingNews.com
"In journalism school, they teach you to be "objective." The folks who run newspapers and magazines expect the same. Not this time, folks."
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Seth Davis, SI.com
"When I heard the shocking news that Wake Forest coach Skip Prosser had died of a heart attack on campus Thursday morning, for some reason my mind flashed back to the day I spent at Wake two years ago previewing the Deacs for SI's college hoops issue."
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Dan Wetzel, Yahoo Sports
"Coaches love little inspirational sayings. They adopt them as a motto, hang them from walls, print up T-shirts. They are as much about coaching, especially at the still youthful high school and college level, as Xs and Os."
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Ken Davis, MSNBC.com
"Dean Buchan spent the past six years working side-by-side with Skip Prosser. Home games. Road games. Practices. Press conferences. As an assistant athletic director at Wake Forest, Buchan was the contact person for the men's basketball program. If you needed to interview Chris Paul, the request went through Buchan. If you wanted to chat with Prosser, Buchan was more than happy to set things up."
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Gary Parish, CBSSportsline.com
"I was sitting at the Riverview Park Activities Center last week in North Augusta, S.C., watching a summer basketball game, and when the buzzer signified halftime I hopped up, ran to the hospitality room, grabbed three bottled waters and returned courtside, handing one to Texas assistant Russ Springmann and another to a fellow writer. I kept the third for myself. "Did you think we weren't thirsty, too?" asked Wake Forest's Skip Prosser, who was sitting to my immediate left with assistant Pat Kelsey."
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FOXSports.com
"Pete Gillen gave Prosser his first break in college coaching when he hired him as an assistant after Gillen left Digger Phelps' staff at Notre Dame to become the first head coach at Xavier in 1985. Then, he watched him grow up in the business."
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Marc Pruitt, AllHeadlineNews
"Everything you will hear and read about Wake Forest basketball coach Skip Prosser in the coming days will be true. You'll hear about his keen sense of humor, his passion for reading and literature, and the love and admiration he had for his chosen profession."
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SI.com: Quotes from coaches and other dignitaries
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Ken Cross, Lindy's Sports
"Thursday afternoon around 4:30 p.m., I saw the red light flash on my BlackBerry. I checked the message which was from South Carolina Sports Information and read, 'Coach Odom Comments On Coach Prosser.'"
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ESPN.com Message Board
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Rice Head Coach Willis Wilson, CollegeInsider.com
"When I first learned of Skip Prosser's passing, I was like a lot of people -- Stunned. Then I was saddened by the fact that our profession needs more people like Skip Prosser. He embodied everything that is right about our profession."
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ESPN.com Message Board
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Media Around the Country

Associated Press: Wake Forest Mourns
"Skip Prosser was remembered for more than his coaching. Wake Forest athletic director Ron Wellman couldn't help but marvel at the coach's knack for routinely using obscure words in their perfect context - "Prosser words,'' as they were known around campus."
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Associated Press: Army Women's Basketball Coach Loses Close Friend
"Dave Magarity knew Skip Prosser as a fellow coach, a player's parent and a friend."
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Associated Press: Gamecocks Odom Mourns
"South Carolina coach Dave Odom can't believe he is mourning his friend, Skip Prosser, a day after having lunch with the Wake Forest coach while watching possible recruits play in Florida."
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Associated Press: Prosser memorial mass attended by 900 in Cincinnati
"Skip Prosser will always be "Coach" to Pat Kelsey. 'I believe that one of the greatest honors a player can bestow on a coach is to call him 'Coach' -- forever,' Kelsey said Saturday while delivering the eulogy during a memorial Mass for Prosser at Xavier University."
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Dustin Dow, Cincinnati Enquirer
"Late Xavier University President James Hoff, S.J. might have been the visionary force behind the construction of Xavier's Cintas Center, but former basketball coach Skip Prosser's winning basketball teams provided the momentum for the arena to be completed in 2000."
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Joe Posnanski, Kansas City Star
"But, of course, there is so much more to sports and life -- this isn't the real world. I want to tell you a story about someone else, a story that I had promised I would not share. But I think this is the right time. A few years ago, I was a columnist in Cincinnati, and one of my favorite subjects was Xavier basketball coach Skip Prosser."
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H. Williams Kellenberger, Rocky Mount Telegram
"The news broke around 4 p.m. Thursday. Wake Forest basketball coach Skip Prosser had collapsed while jogging. A Winston-Salem Journal report soon after indicated that Prosser had died."
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David Teel, Newport News Daily Press
"Skip Prosser had an ardent appreciation for the military, evidenced by a trip he took in May."
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Jim Elliott, Wheeling News Register
"Wheeling's Joe Blaha was a freshman on the 1980 Wheeling Central boys' basketball team coached by Skip Prosser, who died Thursday at the age of 56."
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Lonnie Wheeler, Cincinnati Post
"Take a person who's not from here, and put him here, and within a short while you'll know quite a bit about him. Just from the way he feels about the city. It takes a certain type to appreciate Cincinnati. Skip Prosser, bless him, was that type."
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Cincinnati Post: Prosser leaves legacy behind
"When things weren't going well for his Wake Forest University basketball team, Skip Prosser was known to quote Thomas Paine: "These are the times that try men's souls."
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Jack Bogaczyk, Charleston (W.Va.) Daily Mail
"It really wasn't a fraternity, but it seemed like it. In the basketball brotherhood that passed through Wheeling to the coaching sidelines, it seemed everybody wanted to be on Skip Prosser's team."
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Jim Lamar, Tallahassee Democrat
"I know I'm not the only one who cried on Thursday when the news broke that Skip Prosser died. And while I am certainly not the guy who should eulogize Skip, I wanted anyone who reads the stories about his death to understand one thing: Skip Prosser was a good man."
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Frank Burlison, Long Beach Press Telegram
"As they had been since 8 o'clock Sunday morning, college basketball coaches were out in force in high school gymnasiums all across Las Vegas Thursday, watching high school players in action in three national traveling team tournaments. But the mood wasn't anything close to the same."
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David Glenn, Baltimore PressBox
"Skip Prosser loved to tell stories. One of his favorites was about how he got his start in coaching. As a young man, he wanted to be a teacher. He interviewed for a job teaching history at a West Virginia high school. He got it, but with an unexpected string attached: If he wanted the job, he also had to coach the school's freshman basketball team. "
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