Sunday, October 22, 2000

Prosser, Gaudio join forces again

Old friend back as assistant to Xavier coach

By Neil Schmidt
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Skip Prosser was disgusted. He had just been told Dino Gaudio had been hired as his assistant coach.

        “Who the heck is Dino Gaudio?” he said.

        That was in 1981. Gaudio, Prosser would learn, was his future best friend.

        Gaudio is back at Prosser's side on Xavier's basketball bench. This is their third tenure together.

        In May, Gaudio left the head coaching position at Loyola College in Baltimore to become Prosser's No.3 assistant. With a record of 32-52 in three years spent rebuilding Loyola's program, Gaudio had one year left on his contract and Loyola officials were offering an extension.

        But Cincinnati “feels like home to me,” said Gaudio, who spent six seasons as an XU assistant from 1987-93.

        And Prosser is like family. Gaudio, 43, was best man at Prosser's wedding, and Prosser is godfather to Gaudio's youngest daughter, Alyssa.

        “Even our years coaching different places, we talked on an almost daily basis,” Prosser said. “It's great having him here.”

        They've come a long way since Prosser's opening query. Prosser was coaching at Wheeling (W.Va.) Central Catholic and was stunned when principal Joseph Viglietta named Gaudio his new assistant. Prosser had preferred another candidate and hadn't even met Gaudio.

        But they quickly clicked. They won the Class AA state title their first season together.

        “We spent just a tremendous amount of time together — scouting, taking trips in the car,” Gaudio said. “We'd drive down to Chapel Hill (N.C.) and watch Duke and (North) Carolina practice, and drive 11 hours back to Wheeling. We just really loved the game.”

        Prosser became an XU assistant in 1985, and Gaudio became Wheeling Central's head coach and won another state title. In '87, he joined Prosser on Pete Gillen's coaching staff. They both left for head coaching spots in '93 — Prosser at Loyola and Gaudio at Army. Prosser became XU's head coach a year later.

        They commiserated often. Example: When XU lost a heartbreaker last year at St. Bonaventure and the Musketeers' plane sat on the tar mac at 2 a.m. waiting to head home, Prosser called Gaudio for consolation.

        Gaudio does not recruit off campus for XU. He ran the preseason conditioning program and is an office manager. He specializes in coaching post players.

        “Since he has been a head coach, he can anticipate problems,” Prosser said. “As a head coach, you don't want your assistants to constantly bring you problems. You want them to more often than not bring you solutions. He's done a great job of that.”

        Said senior Reggie Butler: “He relates well to the players. He's great for the program.”

        SCRIMMAGE STARS: In the team's first officiated intrasquad scrimmage of the season last week, the white team — led by the possible starting five of Maurice McAfee, Romain Sato, Lloyd Price, Kevin Frey and David West — beat the blue team 48-19 in a 24-minute game.

        McAfee and West appeared in midseason form, each 5-of-5 on field-goal attempts. McAfee totaled 13 points, four assists, three rebounds and three steals. West totaled 10 points, four steals, four assists and two rebounds. Frey scored 14 points and Sato nine, though Sato had four turnovers.

        Lionel Chalmers scored eight of the blue team's 19 points but had six turnovers to three assists. Fellow sophomore guard Dave Young struggled, missing all four field-goal tries with three turnovers.

        CAPTAINS: McAfee and Butler, the team's two fourth-year players, were elected co-captains by their teammates.

        RECRUITING RAVES: The Sporting News included Xavier in its five key recruiting classes, highlighting it as well as Washington, Baylor, Clemson and Florida International as schools “quietly assembling classes that could reshape their teams in the near future.”

        TSN ranks Purcell Marian 6-foot-5 swingman Keith Jackson No.39 overall. Will Caudle, a 6-9 center from Indianapolis Warren Central, and Jaison Williams, a 6-3 guard from Aurora (Colo.) Hinkley, join Jackson in XU's class of commitments.

        WOMEN GPA: The XU women's basketball team had the 24th-best team GPA in Division I last year: 3.230. LaSalle is No.1 with a 3.470 average.


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