Today marks twelve years since the passing of George Edward “Skip” Prosser. It’s hard to believe it has been that long.
Wake Forest is still recovering from that loss, and in some ways it may never fully recover. And how can you recover from losing a man of Skip’s character? One needs to look no further than searching “Skip Prosser” on Twitter to find constant reminders of his impact.
There hasn't been a day over the past 12 years when Skip Prosser's legacy didn't have an impact on our program. We miss you Coach, but your words of wisdom remain a source of guidance.— Wake Basketball (@WakeMBB) July 26, 2019
Thank you for all you did for @WakeForest and the game of . We ❤️ you Skip! pic.twitter.com/Nuy0OT7m24
“Never Delay Gratitude.”— Pat Kelsey (@patkelsey) July 26, 2019
- Skip Prosser
Twelve years ago today, we lost Skip Prosser. He was the best of us, in every conceivable way. The game isn’t the same without him. RIP Skip. pic.twitter.com/bPbKxGmWwJ— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) July 26, 2019
7/26/07— Chris Mack (@CoachChrisMack) July 26, 2019
Coach Skip Prosser gave me a start in coaching college basketball. Forever grateful. Not many better than Coach! pic.twitter.com/lqnGx1UKO9
“It’s not what you do from 3 to 6, it’s what you do from 6 to 3.” -Skip Prosser / One of the greats. pic.twitter.com/sav4FCz27r— Andrew Muse (@andrewmuse5) July 26, 2019
Skip Prosser was one of the best if not the best ever at Wake Forest. Most of all, he was truly good for the young men he coached, developed and inspired. He took personal responsibility for the well being and growth of his kids, that speaks volumes. You are missed. pic.twitter.com/pdCC3fSG5s— Jay D Benfield (@TaborCitySoccer) July 26, 2019
"I'd rather be overdressed than underdressed." One of the many great memories of Skip Prosser on this 12th anniversary of his death. He was a terrific basketball coach, but a better person. He loved being a coach. He taught as much about life as basketball. He was a good friend. pic.twitter.com/Db8R6YafSS— Mike Hermann (@Hermann_sports) July 26, 2019
Twelve years ago today we lost Skip Prosser. The hurt remains but the memories bring us happiness. I remember Skip quoting Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.” He inspired so many and continues to inspire.— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) July 26, 2019
7/26/07 we lost one of the very best ever! They didn’t come any better than Skip. I was the luckiest 23yr old coach ever... to be taught, mentored & befriended by Skip. In ‘82 our 1st season together at CCHS followed by @XavierMBB @WakeMBB. He should still be here pic.twitter.com/zEED9BDIBA— Dino Gaudio (@coachdinogaudio) July 26, 2019
We love and miss you, Skip. Always. https://t.co/Dbo377P3Hu— WFU Sports Stats (@WFUSportsStats) July 26, 2019
Miss the hell out of you Coach. 7/26/2007 pic.twitter.com/xkXTG5f8Uh— Chris Paul (@CP3) July 26, 2019
Coach Prosser took the Deacs to the school’s first ever #1 national ranking, created Tie-Dye Nation, had swarms of Wake Forest students CAMPING OUT outside the Joel waiting in line to get tickets for games, had over half the student body attending games (which no other Power 5 school can say), and many other on-court accomplishments.
Many chiming in on the impact Skip Prosser had on them personally. I never got to meet him, so I’ll just say that his passing is absolutely a top 3 world altering occurrence in ACC basketball. Wake was, and would have continued to be, a force. https://t.co/zqfFLHet2r— Ben Swain (@TheBenSwain) July 26, 2019
Skip Prosser died 12 years ago. One of the more underrated college coaches. If he's still at Wake that program is being talked about way, way different. Program has never recovered— Bobby Reagan (@BarstoolReags) July 26, 2019
Even non-Wake fans recognize the impact Skip had on the program, and recognize that Wake Forest basketball would be in a completely different place today if he were still living, as evidenced by the above tweets.
Skip was known for his “Skipisms”-witty quotes that people remembered and repeated constantly. If you were listening to a postgame press conference you probably wanted to have a dictionary handy because Skip was going to use a word you didn't know the meaning of. You also wanted a pen to write down his quotes.
“Never delay gratitude”— Edward Foster (@Edward_Foster4) July 26, 2019
“If you can’t be on time, be EARLY”
“We’re going to be good again”
“Are you a 3-to-6 player or a 6-to-3 player?”
“The gym is the best place you’ll ever be”
“The accountability rests with me”
“Meet me on the quad at midnight”
But perhaps his greatest characteristic was his ability to make a difference in the lives of the young men he coached. Time and again former players share their stories of ways in which he is still impacting their lives.
Skip was the ultimate example of Pro Humanitate, as you can find countless stories of him taking time to talk with Wake Forest fans. I remember a time when we went out to eat on a Sunday evening and my brother and I were wearing Tie-Dye shirts. A man came over to our table and said “nice shirts, fellas.” We looked up and Skip was standing there. For the next ten minutes or so we talked about anything and everything, not just basketball. And there are countless stories out there similar to ours.
Wake Forest will never have another Skip Prosser, and will be lucky to find any coach that is even half of the man that Skip was.
But Skip’s legacy will live forever through the impact he had on so many people’s lives, and the memories people share every year, not just on July 26th.
“We’re going to be good again.” Someday we will coach, and I’m sure you will be smiling down from Heaven when we are once again able to say “meet me on the quad at midnight” after a big win over Duke or North Carolina.
Rest in peace Coach Prosser. Wake Forest loves and misses you every single day.