Friday, June 25, 1999

Prosser's XU deal extended to 2007

Muskies coach signs up for three extra years

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Skip Prosser, who begins his sixth season as Xavier's men's basketball coach this fall, has signed a three-year extension on his contract, which now goes through the 2006-2007 season.

        He was already signed through the 2003-2004 season. Prosser was offered the extension in March and accepted after the season ended.

        As a private institution, Xavier does not have to release salary information. Neither Prosser nor Athletic Director Mike Bobinski would comment on specifics of the contract. “It is a private matter,” Prosser said.

        Sources said Prosser, 48, re ceived a pay raise that took effect June 1 and has been promised program enhancements, such as the newly created director of basketball operations position recently filled by former Musketeer Chris Mack.

        The contract extension, of course, does not mean Prosser can't leave.

        “We made what we felt was a very aggressive and good faith offer and extension and total package to Skip, and we hope over the long haul that will serve us well,” Bobinski said.

        Prosser, a Xavier assistant coach under Pete Gillen from 1985-93, was hired as head coach after Gillen left for Providence College in the spring 1994. Prosser had spent one year as coach at Loyola College in Baltimore, taking his team to the NCAA Tournament for the only time in school history.

        In five years at Xavier, Prosser's teams are 106-45 (.702) with three NCAA berths and one National Invitation Tournament appearance. He already is the second-winningest men's basketball coach in Xavier history, behind Gillen (202 victories).

        Prosser interviewed for the Notre Dame job in March. Interest on both sides helped prompt meetings between XU's top officials and Prosser in New York,

        where the Musketeers competed in the NIT semifinals.

        The following week, Notre Dame hired Kansas assistant Matt Doherty as its new coach. Prosser was never offered the job. But during the interview process, Xavier faxed to Prosser in Tampa — site of the Final Four — details that had been discussed regarding the future of the program at Xavier.

        The school is apparently following through.

        “It was not a direct effect of the Notre Dame thing,” Bobinski said. “This was something that we were talking about all year long.”

        Bobinski became athletic director last summer, replacing long-time A.D. Jeff Fogelson, who left for Seton Hall. One of Bobinski's immediate goals was to make sure Prosser felt appreciated and to extend his contract.

        “First of all, my clear opinion is that Skip is absolutely the right guy for Xavier and for our basketball program,” Bobinski said. “His track record is outstanding and the prospects for the future are equally outstanding.

        “When you have an asset like that, you want to make sure that you've done everything you can do to make sure that he feels that he's properly compensated and valued. You don't ever want to have somebody that you consider to be truly an asset to the program, to the school, to the community, ever walk away and say, "Boy, if only we'd have done something more.' I think that's the approach we want to take.”


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