Wake Forest basketball coach passes at age 56

Wake+Forest+coach+Skip+Prosser+argues+a+call+during+a+basketball+game+against+Georgia+Tech+in+Winston-Salem%2C+N.C.%2C+on+Wednesday%2C+March+2%2C+2005.+Prosser+died+Thursday%2C+the+university+said.+He+was+56.+Chuck+Burton%2C+The+Associated+Press%0A

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Wake Forest coach Skip Prosser argues a call during a basketball game against Georgia Tech in Winston-Salem, N.C., on Wednesday, March 2, 2005. Prosser died Thursday, the university said. He was 56. Chuck Burton, The Associated Press

By Joedy McCreary

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Wake Forest basketball coach Skip Prosser died Thursday, the university said. He was 56.

No details of Prosser’s death were immediately released, and Wake Forest athletic director Ron Wellman declined to comment.

Prosser spent six seasons with the Demon Deacons, winning an Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season title in 2003 and reaching the NCAA tournament in his first four seasons. He also led Wake Forest to the program’s first No. 1 national ranking during the 2004-05 season.

Before arriving in Winston-Salem, Prosser was head coach at Xavier for seven seasons and at Loyola of Maryland for one year.

Prosser had a career record of 291-146 as a head coach, including 126-68 with Wake Forest. While there, he coached future NBA stars Chris Paul and Josh Howard, and was the ACC coach of the year in 2003.

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    “My thoughts and prayers are with Coach Prosser’s family and Wake Forest University,” North Carolina State coach Sidney Lowe said. “I have gained a lot of respect for Coach Prosser both as a person and as a coach. It is a tremendous loss for our conference and for college basketball.”

    George Edward “Skip” Prosser was born Nov. 3, 1950, in Pittsburgh. A 1972 graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Prosser earned his master’s degree in secondary education from West Virginia in 1980 while he was a high school coach. He joined the Xavier staff as an assistant before the 1985-86 season, spending eight years on the bench there.

    Prosser is survived by his wife, Nancy, and sons, Scott and Mark. Mark Prosser is an assistant coach at Bucknell.

    Jon Terry, a Bucknell team spokesman, said Mark Prosser had been on the road recruiting but was heading to North Carolina on Thursday afternoon.

    “Everybody here has gotten to know Skip real well,” Terry said. “Obviously it’s tragic news for all of us up here, as well.”