NEW YORK (AP) - Dave Magarity knew Skip Prosser as a fellow coach, a player's parent and a friend.
``This is unbelievable, just unbelievable,'' Magarity, the women's coach at Army, said Thursday of the sudden passing of Prosser, the men's coach at Wake Forest. ``We've always known each other. We go so far back.''
Prosser died Thursday, Wake Forest said. He was 56.
Their friendship was always about basketball. Magarity's first recruit when he became the men's coach at Marist in 1987 was a player from Wheeling (W. Va.) Catholic, where Prosser was the head coach.
d his way up the ladder and when success came for him, you always felt good. It seemed everything he touched turned to gold. His Xavier teams were so good.''
It was while Prosser was at Xavier that the relationship took on a new angle. Mark Prosser went to Marist to play for Magarity.
``I felt sort of honored when he wanted his son to play for me. Mark was a great kid,'' Magarity said. ``Skip was so excited that Delta had a direct connection from Cincinnati to Newburgh (N.Y.). He used up all his Delta miles to come see his son. Mark had two major knee surgeries and Skip was so good about all that, too. Mark helped as a coach his senior year and Skip was proud of that.''
Mark Prosser, who graduated from Marist in 2002, is an assistant coach at Bucknell.
Magarity said he was talking recently to Army men's coach Jim Crews, who joined Prosser and others in ``Operation Hardwood,'' a trip to Kuwait to visit U.S. troops.
``I just saw a picture of him there in fatigues,'' Magarity said. ``That's what makes this so stunning.''
Magarity, a 30-year coaching veteran, left Marist after the 2003-04 season and was off the sidelines for a year when he returned as an assistant to Maggie Dixon with the Army's women's team. In April 2006, Dixon died at age 28 of heart arrhythmia. Magarity took over as the head coach after Dixon's sudden passing. He said the two had grown so close in that one season that he felt as if he lost a family member.
He called Prosser ``a close friend. We went on trips with our wives and they became friends.''
Magarity paused for a second.
``I don't know now,'' he said, ``every time the phone rings.''

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