Skip Prosser remembered for helping Xavier basketball reach national stage and so much more

Coach died suddenly 10 years ago

CINCINNATI – Skip Prosser was celebrated Wednesday as a coach who helped Xavier’s basketball program reach the national stage and as so much more. 

Prosser, 56, died suddenly of a heart attack 10 years ago on July 26, 2007. 

WATCH a clip of Tyrone Hill and others talking about Prosser at his memorial service in the player above.

Current Xavier coach Chris Mack remembers Prosser as a mentor and friend. Prosser gave Mack his first college coaching job as Director of Basketball Operations at Xavier in 1999, and Mack followed Prosser to Wake Forest as an assistant coach in 2001. Mack also played two seasons at Xavier while Prosser was assistant coach.

In basketball circles, Prosser is known for coaching three schools - Xavier, Wake Forest and Loyola (Maryland) – to the NCAA Tournament. He was an assistant at Xavier under Pete Gillen for eight years (1985-1993), when the Musketeers made their first mark on the national stage with the likes of Byron Larkin and Tyrone Hill. 

Many remember Prosser as more than a coach. When Prosser died, one of his former Xavier players,  Dwayne Wilson, told WCPO that Prosser helped him get a job as a Cincinnati police officer.

WATCH Wilson’s comments below:

 

 

Prosser had been a high school history teacher and loved reading. He quoted from historians in everyday conversation and read from the classics to his teams.

"He always liked to read history books, so he was always quoting something – whether it be Winston Churchill or another great author," Wilson said. "He was always quoting somebody on something.” 

WATCH John Popovich of WCPO tease Prosser about his vocabulary.

 

Prosser took his first head coaching job at Loyola in 1993, then returned to Xavier as head coach when Gillen moved on. Prosser took Xavier to four NCAA tournaments and two NITs in his seven seasons (1994-2001) and compiled a record of 148-65.

In 2004, Prosser left for Wake Forest and the challenge of the Atlantic Coast Conference. He led the Demon Deacons to four NCAAs and one NIT in six seasons and a 128-66 mark.

Prosser was born in suburban Pittsburgh in 1950 and grew up there. He met his wife Nancy in Cincinnati after coming to Xavier. Prosser is buried at Spring Grove Cemetery.

 

 

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