WCU Announces Mark Prosser as Men’s Head Basketball Coach
Former associate head coach at Winthrop University and 15-year NCAA coaching veteran Mark Prosser was introduced as Western Carolina University’s 18th head men’s basketball coach by Director of Athletics Randy Eaton on Tuesday afternoon in a press conference held on campus in the Ramsey Center Hospitality Room.
Prosser, who just completed his sixth year on the men’s basketball staff at Winthrop, has ties to the Southern Conference including two stints alongside head coach Mike Young at Wofford College where he helped guide the Terriers to consecutive regular season championships in 2009-10 and 2010-11. WCU is the second head coaching position for Prosser. He is the son of the late Skip Prosser, who guided three programs to a total of eight NCAA tournament appearances during his career.
“I appreciate everyone coming out today. It’s certainly an honor to stand before you today in what proved to be a perfect situation for me and my family,” said Prosser during the introductory press conference on Tuesday. “I wouldn’t be standing here without the three people sitting in the front row being comfortable. We knew very quickly upon our arrival here that this was our logical next step; this was home.”
Between four different NCAA-member institutions, Prosser has been an integral part of recruiting, developing and coaching a total of 28 all-conference players including two conference players of the year, two conference defensive players of the year and a combined eight all-freshman team selections. Teams he has helped coach have appeared in nine conference championship title games and have made five NCAA Tournament post-season appearances, twice pulling off first-round upsets.
“Just over three weeks since Coach Larry Hunter resigned, our search ends today. We didn’t find a guy; we found ‘THE’ guy,” said Eaton. “Mark Prosser has everything we were looking for in our next head men’s basketball coach: a plethora of experience assisting in building successful mid-major programs, both on-and-off the court; recruiting ties not only to the southeastern United States, but also a strong history of recruiting nationally and internationally; a proven leader of young men, leading them in life as much as the game; a family man, who along with his wife Emily, daughter Ava Grayce, and son Declan, has already become one of us; and a fit in our department, our campus, our community – in short, the entirety of the Catamount Nation.”
Eaton added, “Speaking with those in the college basketball industry who know the business better than I, or those who simply watch televised games, Mark’s name continued to come up. Essentially, this is a slam dunk for WCU men’s basketball.”
Prosser comes to Cullowhee after six highly successful years on the bench at Winthrop. Alongside head coach Pat Kelsey – a former player for and assistant coach with Prosser’s father, Skip, at Xavier and Wake Forest – the Eagles compiled an impressive record of 102-59 over the past five seasons, highlighted by four-consecutive Big South Tournament title game appearances and a 2017 NCAA Tournament berth. Prosser helped orchestrate the offense of the 2015-16 Winthrop squad that ranked 13th nationally with an average of 82.2 points per game including the 23rd-best free throw percentage (74.9-percent) and an average of 8.9 made 3-pointers made per game to rank 32nd overall in the NCAA.