SportSouth Airing Tribute to Skip Prosser
Aug. 29, 2007
Following the untimely death of Wake Forest head basketball coach Skip Prosser, SportSouth celebrates the man he was in In My Own Words: Skip Prosser. Initially scheduled to be televised prior to the 2007-08 basketball season, this never-before-seen interview hosted by Sean Pragano captures Prosser's passion for life, his players, his family and basketball. In My Own Words: Skip Prosser reairs on SportSouth on Thursday, August 30 at 7 p.m. ET, Friday, August 31 at 6 p.m. ET and Monday, September 3 at 9 p.m. ET.
On lessons learned from his father "No excuses...When we'd lose a Little League game, my mom would say, `You can't win `em all," and my father's mantra was, `It doesn't say that in the rule book.' And it doesn't. You can win them all...And that was how he approached things. You didn't make excuses - injuries, sickness, whatever. You kept striving to win."
On what Prosser wants from his players "I want them to be able to bounce back from adversity, because as we all know, life is full of adversity and how you deal with it many times defines your life. I want them to be hard working. I want them to be unselfish, to think that life is a team sport. On a daily basis, you're trying to impart that to the kids in your charge."
On being a father figure to his players
"I tell them all the time that I'm not any smarter than any of them. Probably less smart than many of them, but I feel like I do have the benefit of experience. And I've made a plethora of mistakes and ideally my talking to them, teaching if you will, maybe they can benefit from that in terms of not making the same mistakes. That's your role. Ultimately, you want to prepare these guys for life after Wake Forest. Many of them, most of them, the vast majority will not be NBA players and so I want them to be very, very aggressive."
On the toughest part of coaching "One of the toughest things is the sacrifice your family makes. Many times you spend a lot of time worrying about someone else's kids at the cost of worrying about your own kids. I have an unbelievably understanding wife who has tremendous perspective."
On becoming the Head Coach at Wake Forest "I went to the Merchant Marine Academy for heaven's sake...I never thought about coaching as a career. I wanted to be a high school history teacher. I thought that was my calling. To get the teaching position at a small little private school down in West Virginia they said `We'll give you the teaching job, but you have to coach ninth grade basketball.' The first game I ever coached, we lost by like 40 and my team was down 16-0 at the end of the first quarter. At that point in time, I don't think there were a lot of people who would have thought that I would have the pleasure or the honor or the challenge of coaching at the highest level in the ACC."
Prosser's favorite quote "Well, I mean, it's easy to go the Winston Churchill route `cause he's got a lot of great ones but I think we talk a lot to our team about roles, and one of the best quotes I ever read about roles was a guy named Ralph Waldo Emerson, who wasn't a coach. He was a transcendentalist in America in the 1830's who said `Our chief want in life is someone who will make us do what we can.' I thought that was a powerful statement that we need to be around people who challenge us to be as good as we can be."
SportSouth reaches 8.9 million cable and satellite subscribers across a six-state region comprised of Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina and regions of central and western North Carolina. Through its affiliates and other FNG-owned networks, FSN reaches more than 82 million homes through 22 regional networks. Headquartered in Los Angeles, FSN owned or affiliated regional sports networks serve as the TV home to 64 of the 82 MLB, NHL and NBA teams based in the United States.