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« Perspective | Main | Recall brawl »

Jul 26, 2007


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Several months ago I was covering a hospital volunteer appreciation luncheon in Winston-Salem. Having interviewed everyone I needed to beforehand, I spent the actual luncheon roaming around gathering video. I was all but done when the keynote speaker took the podium; Wake Forest coach Skip Prosser. Not a basketball fan in the slightest, I recognized the name from his appearances on 'Two Guys Named Chris' and decided to stick around for a minute.

Coach Prosser held the crowd in the palm of his hand as he riffed on life outside basketball. He was personable, wickedly funny and dare I say, inspiring. I ain't easily inspired. The fact that I was still there when he finished his speech is a testament to his winning personality, for there's nothing more I hate than canned speeches over rubber chicken plates.

Suffice to say, Skip Prosser will be greatly missed - and not just by those who follow the Wake Forest basketball program. Rest in Peace.

Jay Ovittore

Truly a tragedy. I think you summed it up with, "He seemed like one of the good guys in bigtime sports."

Danny Wright

Coach Prosser spoke at the Greensboro Day School graduation in 2003. After the student body president and the senior class president spoke (It was announced that the former was going to attend UNC and the latter would attend WFU), Coach Prosser stepped to the podium and said something to the extent of: "_________ (student attending WFU), I think you will find that the next four years of your life will be one of the most rewarding experiences you'll ever have. And _______ (student attending UNC), well, I'm sorry."

It was a great icebreaker in getting the attention of a bunch of 18 year-olds. In terms of format, it was one of the "standard" graduation speeches -- five lessons to carry with you. However, it was filled with such meaning and good anecdotal illustration that despite the ridiculous heat outside, he seemed to have everyone's full attention. I know he had mine. I'm not one of the best passive listeners, but I remember being able to recall those 5 things a couple of years later when I was telling someone about how magnetic his personality was.


Skip Prosseer spoke to my Kiwanis club in High Point several years ago and I remember having a real good feeling and sense of warmth about him as human being - just a super person and a real tragedy with his loss.


I always enjoyed his press conferences after a game whether he won or not. Many times he would contrast aspects of the game with historical events to remind us that it was after all just a game.

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