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March 7, 2008


Late head coach honored with award to recognize coaching excellence.

ORIGIN OF THE AWARD: Listen to audio about the creation of the award

MORE INFORMATION: Skip Prosser Biography (PDF)

Skip Prosser's name will be honored with the creation of the Skip Prosser Man of the Year AwardBOSTON (MA) --, in conjunction with the Prosser family, is proud to announce the creation of the Skip Prosser Man of the Year Award.

The award will be presented annually to the division I head coach who enjoys success on and off the court. Winning with high morale integrity.

“My family and I are honored that my father's name will be forever linked to an award such as this,” said Mark Prosser, an assistant at Bucknell University and the son of the late Skip Prosser. “He loved coaching the game of basketball to young men while those young men received a tremendous education. He truly did things the right way on and off the court, and worked tirelessly to do so. This award will honor coaches that mirror those beliefs.”

Skip Prosser, who enjoyed success at every stop and at every level as a head basketball coach, passed away on July 26, 2007.

Prosser posted a career record of 291-146 (.666) in 14 seasons as a head coach. At Wake Forest, Prosser’s teams averaged 21 wins per season while playing in arguably the nation’s most difficult league, the Atlantic Coast Conference. Prosser, whose record with the Demon Deacons was 126-68 (.649), won 100 games at an ACC school quicker than all but two coaches in the 54-year history of the conference.

Before arriving at Wake Forest prior to the 2001-02 season, Prosser enjoyed highly-successful stints at Loyola (Md.) for one season and at Xavier for seven seasons. Prosser is the only coach in NCAA history to take three different schools to the NCAA Tournament in his first season at each of those schools.

But his biggest impact could not be measured in victories.

Coach Prosser embraced Wake Forest's academic standards and stressed performance in the classroom by his players. Every senior that he coached at Wake Forest earned his diploma in four years.

Skip Prosser won 291 games in 14 seasons as a head coach.“Skip Prosser was a great friend to me, and a great friend to the game,” said ESPN analyst Jay Bilas who is a member of the award selection committee. “He exemplified everything that was good about college athletics. He was a teacher as well as a coach, and always put his players first. He respected the game and all that played it, and always had things in the proper perspective. Skip Prosser was one of the good guys, and he would be the first to say that he was not alone there. This award is the perfect way to honor Skip and the principles he lived every day, and to honor the coaches that share those values and live them every day.”

Coach Prosser was highly regarded by his peers, often referred to as a coach’s coach with his qualities as a head coach exceeded only by his qualities as a human being.

“Skip Prosser was truly an outstanding teacher and coach, but he was even a better person,” says Reggie Minton, Deputy Executive Director of the National Association of Basketball Coach and member of the award selection panel. “I know of no one who did not hold Skip in the highest esteem. He loved his family and his players were family. He epitomized all the good in our great profession. He worked tirelessly to achieve excellence and he did it the right way. The game on basketball is a better sport due to the contributions of Skip Prosser and the young people's life that he touched are much better for his inclusion in their lives.”

In addition to Bilas and Minton, others on the award selection committee include Mike Bobinski (Director of Athletics, Xavier), Joe Boylan (Director of Athletics, Loyola College), Ed DeChellis (Head Men's Basketball Coach, Penn State University), Fran Fraschilla (ESPN College Basketball Analyst), Dino Gaudio (Head Men's Basketball Coach, Wake Forest University), University), Dave Magarity (Head Women's Basketball Coach, West Point), Mark Schmidt (Head Men's Basketball Coach, St. Bonaventure University) and Ron Wellman (Director of Athletics, Wake Forest University).

Skip’s son Mark chairs the committee and will present the award to the recipient, annually at the Final Four.

The inaugural winner will be announced on April 4 in San Antonio, TX.

“There are many coaches throughout the nation that deserve an award like this,” says Mark. “My father would be humbled to have his name attached in any way to recognizing these individuals.”


Jay Bilas (ESPN College Basketball Analyst)
Mike Bobinski (Director of Athletics, Xavier)
Joe Boylan (Director of Athletics, Loyola College)
Chris Carlin (Sports Talk Host, WFAN Radio)
Dave Cottle (Head Men's Lacrosse Coach, University of Maryland)
Ed DeChellis (Head Men's Basketball Coach, Penn State University)
Matt Drake (Senior Analyst,
Joe Dwyer (Co-Founder,
Fran Fraschilla (ESPN College Basketball Analyst)
Dino Gaudio (Head Men's Basketball Coach, Wake Forest University)
Brad Holland (Former Head Men's Basketball, University of San Diego)
Angela Lento (Co-Founder,
Kyle Macy (Former Head Men's Basketball Coach Morehead State University)
Dave Magarity (Head Women's Basketball Coach, West Point)
Reggie Minton (Deputy Executive Director, National Association of Basketball Coaches)
Mark Prosser (Associate Head Coach, Bucknell University)
Mark Schmidt (Head Men's Basketball Coach, St. Bonaventure University)
Steve Shutt (Assistant Athletic Director, Wake Forest University)
Ron Wellman (Director of Athletics, Wake Forest University)
Dave Wojcok (Associate Head Men's Basketball Coach Tulsa University)
Doug Wojcik (Head Men's Basketball Coach, Tulsa University)