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Heart of Gold

by Joe Mihalich (Niagara)

It’s Valentine’s Day. So naturally everywhere you look you see hearts. It’s a day when you think about their sweethearts. But I also think about people that have heart and people that have a big heart. Skip Prosser had both.

Skip was as tough as they come. He was a courageous and gutty coach who poured his heart and soul into his job with great passion. I was fortunate to have Skip as a friend. Ours is a profession that often brings disappointment, but Skip was the type of person that always put it in perspective.

I would still be frustrated by a tough loss and Skip would say, “You can’t change the result so let’s get a beer.” Of course you had to chuckle at the simplistic analysis of the loss. Skip was right. It’s time to move on.

As coaches we all have busy schedules. We don’t often have time to do all things we would like to do during the course of a week. But Skip always made time to speak to you. If you needed some insight into an opponent or if you wanted to chat about beloved Pittsburgh Pirates, Skip always made time.

Pick any coach and ask 100 people what they think about that coach and you are likely to get a lot of differing opinions. Now ask those same 100 people what they think about Skip Prosser and you will get one response.

That’s the type of person he was. He was genuine. The man didn’t have a bad bone in his body. He was all about people.

Through the years Skip racked up a lot of wins at Loyola, Xavier and Wake Forest. It was a career full of accolades and big wins, but the biggest winners were all those who knew him. He was a great basketball coach, but he was an incredible person and that is his legacy.

I am so proud to say Skip was my good friend. I could fill volumes with all great stories about the guy and I am quite sure that there are countless others that would make that same claim. He touched so many.

Skip had a heart of gold. There is nothing he wouldn’t do for you, big or small. We were all lucky to have him as a coach and a friend.

So on Valentine’s Day I always think of my wife Mary. She is my sweetheart. But I also think about Skip because he had such a big heart. So raise a pint and toast to people like Skip Prosser who touched the hearts of so many!

 

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