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During his 11 years at the helm of the Penn men's basketball program, Fran Dunphy has captured Ivy League titles, won in the NCAA Tournament and seen several players turn pro. The key to his success, he told 14 students yesterday, has just as much to do with his leadership experience as it does with his basketball knowledge. Dunphy discussed his experiences as a coach and as a leader beyond the sport alone in a talk sponsored by the Fox Leadership Program. Introduced by Political Science Professor John DiIulio as "a real human asset to the city of Philadelphia," Dunphy, who spoke for 30 minutes and then took questions from the crowd, interspersed anecdotes from his coaching career with advice on how to make the most of each opportunity. One point that Dunphy drove home from the start was that he finds his job -- even the painful 1998 one-point loss to the hated Princeton Tigers -- more enjoyable than he does stressful. "When you enjoy your work, you can be a very successful person," said the veteran coach, who has led the Quakers to two consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament. Dunphy admitted that, at times, the pressure of always maintaining a positive attitude -- especially in such a publically scrutinized career -- might tempt him to switch places with the ticket vendor at the games if he had not learned to thrive on the pressure. The coach credited much of his success to the importance of persistence and working in the face of adversity by quoting Philadelphia 76ers owner Pat Croce's motto: "Always, always, always do things you're afraid to do." It's not that Dunphy wanted to take all the credit for himself, however. In fact, the coach made sure to mention many of the players with whom he has worked -- which includes past and present NBA players like Ira Bowman, Matt Maloney and Jerome Allen, as well as recently graduated star Michael Jordan. "I've done my best when I've had my best players," he said. From there, Dunphy discussed how important it is for others to step up and take responsibility. When asked how he will deal with the loss of assistant coach Steve Donahue to Cornell, Dunphy said the move presents an opportunity for new ideas and new experiences for others on the team. "I coach not only the games but also the memories and experiences of the people I work with," he said. Dunphy then opened the floor to questions, which ranged from ones about college basketball -- and his current team, in particular -- to academic integrity. Many of the audience members were interested in Dunphy's opinion on controversial and recently fired Indiana University coach Bobby Knight, to which Dunphy responded that IU should have spoken to Knight long before the situation got out of hand. Dunphy worked with Knight at Army. When asked how he feels about the upcoming season, Dunphy said he is looking forward to the challenge of defending the Ivy League crown. This year, he explained, is the first time that his team has had a very experienced front line and a less experienced backcourt. Specifically, Dunphy pointed to the leadership abilities of the team's captain, Geoff Owens. The center was elected captain by every member of the team -- every member, that is, except for Owens, who did not vote for himself. That selfless gesture, Dunphy said, epitomizes the type of leadership he values.

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