RIP John Chaney

Legendary Temple head coach John Chaney passed away:

Chaney was 89 years old and coached basketball at various levels from from 1963 to 2006. It was a career spanning more than four decades.

He spent 24 of those years with the Owls, winning 516 games and taking Temple to the NCAA Tournament on 17 occasions, advancing to five Elite Eights. He won eight regular season Atlantic 10 titles, six Atlantic 10 tournament titles, and was named conference coach of the year on six different occasions. In 1988, on the strength of a 32-2 season and unbeaten conference record, Chaney won national coach of the year honors from the Associated Press, United Press International, National Association of Basketball Coaches, and United States Basketball Writers Association. He was enshrined in the both the Basketball Hall of Fame (2001) and College Basketball Hall of Fame (2006).

Chaney’s early Temple teams were badass. That 1988 squad featured future NBA players Tim Perry, Mark Macon, Ramon Rivas, and Duane Causwell and only suffered one regular season loss, a one-point road defeat at UNLV. In the Elite Eight, they fell to a Duke team that included Quin Snyder and Danny Ferry, plus Alaa Abdelnaby and Billy King, who would both go on to be involved with the Philadelphia 76ers. Chaney had later Temple teams that went 23-8 and 27-6. Fifteen of his Temple squads won 20+ games.

Chaney coached hard and expected a lot from his teams. You’ve probably heard stories of his early-morning practice sessions. He was a fiery guy and a unique guy who clashed with John Calipari (I’ll kill you!) and also got himself into trouble for the famous 2005 “goon” incident, where he sent in a bench player to commit a hard foul.

But more than anything, he was a quality coach who sustained decades of success, not only at Temple but also during previous stops at Cheyney University and Simon Gratz High School. He saw a dozen players selected in the NBA Draft while plenty of others went on to have successful careers overseas and in the coaching ranks.

John Chaney truly is a Philadelphia basketball legend. RIP.

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