In late July 2007, the Wake Forest family lost one of its own in George Edward “Skip” Prosser, our beloved basketball coach. He’d gone on a midday run, came back to his office, and was stricken with a massive heart attack, which was fatal.
Coach Prosser had been a tremendous force on campus. He had winning ways on and off the court. He was one of the smartest guys I’d ever met – driven, a voracious reader, a student of history, and one of the quickest wits I’ve had the privilege to be near. His press conferences were like a prep for the SATs or GREs – peppered with literary allusions, references to historical figures – with some fantastic zingers and one liners thrown in for good measure.
It was my good fortune to have invited him to speak on several occasions to groups on campus. Even as a busy ACC head coach, he was unfailingly polite, kind, warm. He was as nice to the waiter who brought his food as he was to the president of the university. He just understood how to treat everyone with respect and decency, and was not interested in any sort of caste system.
His players loved him. The campus loved him. When he died, there was the Quad Rolling to end all Quad Rolling. All of us wept at his passing and his funeral was one of the most beautiful – and most sad – ones I’ve been to.
Some intrepid soul on YouTube has compiled a wonderful tribute video – watch it here. Whether you are a new Deac or an alumni parent who wants to remember, here’s our Skip.