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.
I was hoping and praying that it was not true but obviously it was.
Skip Prosser epitomized all that was good about college athletics. He was loyal, dedicated and committed to being a teacher. Prosser was a family man through and through, and his son, Mark, is an assistant coach at Bucknell. He was a guy with great morals, ideal to be around young people.
When I think about him, he was about doing the right things in life. What a tragic loss for the college athletic community. Wake Forest has lost a tremendous leader and all-around individual.
He was so proud of the way he climbed the ladder of success, from Loyola (Md.) to Xavier and then the ACC and the Demon Deacons.
My heart and prayers go out to his family. He was one special guy who got involved in helping others. I remember him coming over around ACC tournament time for a Jimmy V event. He went overseas to coach the troops in a special, special USO Tour. That's the kind of guy he was, always helping people.
They don't get any nicer than Prosser. I remember times where we were shooting the breeze about basketball, about life, and how proud he was to come from nowhere. He didn't have a great name in high school, but he busted his gut and did it the old-fashioned American way with a tremendous work ethic and pride.
He pursued his dream to become a coach and ultimately, he ended up in the prestigious ACC. He was almost 60 games over .500 at Wake Forest and won more than 66 percent of his Division I games overall.
I spoke to him a while back, and he was so excited about the young talent he assembled down at Wake Forest. He was looking forward to the upcoming season, and it is shocking to think I won't see him on the sidelines.
He has the distinction of being the only coach in NCAA Tournament history to lead three different schools to the tournament in his first season at each school.
Prosser was as good a guy as it gets. College basketball will miss him terribly. I am so shocked and saddened by this news. He was only 56 years old, leaving us so prematurely.