Skip Prosser - "Coaching isn't wins and losses. It's teaching. That's the reason I got into coaching and the reason I've stayed in coaching".
Skip Prosser will be missed greatly at Wake Forest, not only as a coach but as a person. When he wasn't in the Miller Center coaching and teaching the Men’s basketball team, he could be found running on the track, strolling around the quad, and even watching the Women’s basketball practices. He would often wave to people as the walked by him jogging on the track, his smiling face quite different than the faces he gave when on the sidelines of a game at the Joel Coliseum. I only met him once, when I was playing on the practice squad against the women’s team (don't ask) but I still immediately saw why big name players wanted to come to tiny Wake Forest instead of the basketball powerhouses of UNC and Duke only an hour and a half away. He hit me as being a true father-like figure. If you read quotes from everyone from Chris Paul, the best player Prosser ever recruited to Al-Farouq Aminu, his latest high profile recruit who hasn't even played under Prosser yet, you will repeatedly hear about how much Prosser cared and wanted to see his players succeed in life. He laid down strict academic standards, continually checking up on all his players academic status. This constant emphasis to succeed not only on the court but off it as well was obvious by his recruiting principles of “good players, good academically, and most importantly good people”.
For those of you who don't know of him that well here is some information about his coaching career. He started his college coaching career as the assistant coach at Xavier. After 12 years, he took the head coaching job at Loyola for one year, before returning to Xavier the year after to take over the head coaching position. Seven years, 148 wins, and two conference coach of the year awards later Skip Prosser came to Wake Forest. He immediately made an impact, reaching 100 wins in the acc faster than all but two coaches in the history of the conference. In 2003 he won ACC coach of the year as he led Wake to an ACC championship, the first since the days of Tim Duncan.
Skip Prosser might not be as good of a coach as his nearby neighbors in Chapel Hill and Durham. But all those in-state recruits and five star high schoolers who chose Wake Forest over those other schools saw something in Prosser that made them choose to attend a tiny private school in the tobacco run city of Winston-Salem. He was a good coach, a better teacher, and most importantly a person who cared dearly for his players and wanted to see them succeed in not just basketball, but life in general. He will truly be missed by everyone who knew him, met him, or just happened to get a wave as they walked past the track.