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Phil Coleman

Phil Coleman, ‘68

Many graduates of Kansas Wesleyan continue their career and lives outside of Salina, but for Phil Coleman, it was important to stay connected to his alma mater.

“Salina is a great place to attend college because of its size and friendliness,” he said. After graduation, he stayed in Salina to start his life and build a career. “Living in Salina has given me the opportunity to volunteer in different areas at KWU – fundraising, the Board of Trustees, alumni activities, and being part of a host family to KWU athletes.”

Coleman has taught several classes at KWU in the area of sales, marketing, leadership, motivation, communication, and goal-setting.

Coleman grew up in Goddard, Kansas, and came to Kansas Wesleyan to play basketball and baseball, but he got so much more. In addition to All-Conference and All-American honors in both sports, he fostered relationships that would last a lifetime and help him after graduation. Coleman graduated in 1968 with a degree in Business Administration and Secondary Education and went on to become a teacher in the Salina school district. He recalled that great KWU educator Al Nelson helped him obtain his first teaching job at Salina Central High School and was a huge influence in his career choice.

Coleman looks back fondly on his time at Kansas Wesleyan and credits Nelson, as well as Coach Gene Bissell and Ken Cochran for helping shape him into the person he is today. In addition to being a teacher, he is also a seminar leader and motivational speaker – and Cochran helped make it possible through tough practices, guiding Coleman and his teammates to championships, and being mentors for Coleman.

“Some of my fondest KWU memories involve my greatest KWU influences, but also the friends I made living in Schuyler and Wilson Halls, and working part-time in Shriwise Dining Hall as a freshman, cleaning pots and pans,” he said.

Coleman loves KWU and has so much pride in the University that gave him so many opportunities.

“I have Coyote Pride because of the total package gained at Kansas Wesleyan,” he said. “The small college atmosphere, the opportunity to play basketball and baseball at the college level, and the many friends made, skills learned, and knowledge that allowed me to help others.”

As the owner of Champion Seminars, Coleman has presented to over 500,000 people in 35 years; speaking at graduations, conventions, banquets, and civic organizations. He has also authored two books, Selling is Surviving – Creating New Sales and Public Speaking: The Bulldog Attacking the Cat. Together with his wife, Barbara, he has four children: Jeff, Jamie, Jenny, and Jessica.