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Wake Forest University Men's Basketball Coach Skip Prosser Dies at 56

Wake Forest basketball coach Skip Prosser has died, the university said Thursday. He was 56.

No details of Prosser's death were immediately released.

Prosser spent six seasons with the Demon Deacons, winning an Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season title in 2003 and reaching the NCAA tournament in his first four seasons. He also led Wake Forest to the program's first No. 1 national ranking during the 2004-05 season.

Before arriving in Winston-Salem, Prosser was head coach at Xavier for seven seasons and at Loyola of Maryland for one year.

Prosser had a career record of 291-146 in 14 seasons, including 126-68 with Wake Forest. While there, he coached future NBA stars Chris Paul and Josh Howard, and was the ACC coach of the year in 2003.

In its release, the school said officials were working to schedule a news conference. Athletics director Ron Wellman declined to comment Thursday afternoon.

"My thoughts and prayers are with Coach Prosser's family and Wake Forest University," North Carolina State coach Sidney Lowe said. "I have gained a lot of respect for Coach Prosser both as a person and as a coach. It is a tremendous loss for our conference and for college basketball."

George Edward "Skip" Prosser was born Nov. 3, 1950, in Pittsburgh. A 1972 graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Prosser earned his master's degree in secondary education from West Virginia in 1980 while he was a high school coach. He joined the Xavier staff as an assistant before the 1985-86 season, spending eight years on the bench before taking over at Loyola for the 1993-94 season.

He led a Loyola team that had gone 2-25 the previous season to its first NCAA tournament appearance before leaving to take over at Xavier, helping the Muskateers to four NCAA bids.

He took over at Wake Forest in 2001, replacing current South Carolina coach Dave Odom.

Prosser is survived by his wife, Nancy, and sons, Scott and Mark. Mark Prosser is an assistant coach at Bucknell.

Jon Terry, a team spokesman at Bucknell, said Mark Prosser had been on the road recruiting but was heading to North Carolina on Thursday afternoon.

"Everybody here has gotten to know Skip real well," Terry said. "Obviously it's tragic news for all of us up here as well."