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Wake Forest coach Skip Prosser dies

Wake Forest coach Skip Prosser dies

Prosser, 56, dies of apparent heart attack

Wake Forest basketball coach Skip Prosser died on Thursday morning of an apparent heart attack shortly after jogging.

Prosser was rushed to Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

Prosser, 56, was one of the most well-liked coaches in the industry and known for his witty and sarcastic sense of humor.

He grew up in Pittsburgh and went to high school at Carnegie before attending the United States Merchant Marine Academy.

Prosser has spent the past seven seasons at Wake Forest after spending one year at Loyola (Md.) and seven at Xavier. He has a career record of 291-146.

Prosser led Wake Forest to the NCAA Tournament in each of his first four seasons and the Demon Deacons won the ACC regular-season in 2003. The Demon Deacons have struggled recently — missing the tournament in each of the past two years.

Prosser and his staff were in high spirits recently after learning that two of the nation's top high school players — Al Farouq Aminu and Tony Woods — committed to Wake Forest earlier this month. The staff already had a commitment from another one of the nation's top players, Ty Walker.

Obviously, Prosser's peers were stunned to hear the news.

"It's so sad. I feel so bad for his wife, Nancy," said Arizona State Herb Sendek, who coached against Prosser when he was with N.C. State. "Skip was a gentleman and someone who represented what was good about our profession. He was the kind of person you wanted your son to play for."

"I was sitting with him yesterday in Orlando," Georgia Tech's Paul Hewitt said. "He was just a great person. It's so sad."

"He's a great guy and I watched his career blossom," added Arizona coach Lute Olson. "This is beyond belief. It's awful. He was always very positive and friendly. Extremely outgoing. The kind of guy you always looked forward to seeing."

"My thoughts and prayers are with Coach Prosser's family and Wake Forest University," North Carolina State coach Sidney Lowe was quotes as saying by The Associated Press. "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."

Prosser is survived by his wife, Nancy, and two sons, Scott (28) and Mark (27). Mark 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, according to AP. "Obviously it's tragic news for all of us up here, as well."

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