By Sam Ojeda / Sports Editor

When the name Bill Self is brought up to anyone, titles like, “Kansas men’s basketball Coach” or “Greatest coach ever” come up.

What most people do not see is how Self promotes a message of success and selflessness. Self was at Sports Arena on April 18 as the headliner of the second Dillon Lecture Series speaker of 2023.

Self reflected on what winning means to him, since he’s done it so much. He’s won 580 games in 20 seasons at Kansas, 17 Big 12 regular-season championships, nine Big 12 tournament championships, and two NCAA national championships.

“Winning for me has changed over time,” Self said, adding that winning should bring a sense of euphoria. But for Self winning is a burden

“The position that I am in at Kansas makes winning more of a relief,” Self said. “Losing is a disaster and winning is a relief.”

When he first started at Kansas, winning was everything but that idea has changed for Self.

“I enjoy winning less now than I did when I was young,” Self said. “The wins never feel as good as the losses feel bad,” Self said when speaking about how he hates losing.

During his engaging talk in front of a large crowd, he spoke about success and used his time at Kansas to prove that a successful mind completes goals.

Self said he feels he has almost perfected his approach to coaching. He said he believes this so wholeheartedly that he does not find him coaching as much now.

“When a coach has to coach a team all the time, the team is not ready to play,” Self said.

Self started to get down to the facts that make someone successful. He preached how having other good people around you makes you better.

“If you are really good at what you do, you shouldn’t be jealous of someone who is also good,” Self said.

People in the crowd would not be able to count on your fingers how many times Self said “Iron sharpens iron.” That was his message to the thousands of attentive people in that arena. He said he believes that having other greatness around you should make you want to be even better than them.

“Being in the Big 12, I have greatness all around me,” Self said, “It makes me teach my team to keep getting better.”

Self sees only one way to do this, “Be a sponge. The best way to be successful is to acknowledge what you do not know. That is how you are successful.”

After 45 minutes of great one liners, useful advice, and tons of clapping, Bill Self walked off the stage of the Dillon Lecture Series to a standing ovation. His message of sponge soaking success and his vision on winning stuck with the audience.

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