John Chaney, the famous college basketball coach who led the Temple Owls for 24 years, passed away Friday. He was 89.
Chaney ended up being the Owls’ head coach in 1982 and got the group to the NCAA Tournament throughout the 1983-84 season. Between 1982 and 2006 he led Temple to 8 Atlantic-10 championships and made the NCAA Tournament 17 times. He was named the AP Coach of the Year in 1988.
The cause of his death wasn’t immediately clear.
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The Philadelphia Inquirer was among the very first to report Chaney’s death.
Chaney’s hard-nosed style carried over off the court as he had a well-known competition with John Calipari, who was coaching Massachusetts at the time. Chaney threatened to kill Calipari during a postgame press conference as Calipari was talking to press reporters. The occurrence led to a one-game suspension for Chaney. The legendary coaches would later on reconcile their distinctions.
He would also receive a lengthy suspension after confessing to sending among his players in to dedicate a difficult foul on a St. Joseph’s gamer. The player would suffer a damaged arm on the foul and Chaney would make himself some time far from the court.
He was inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.
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In spite of the controversies, Temple had never been more effective than when Chaney was the head coach. Temple made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament in four of his first 5 seasons and in 1988 got to the Elite Eight. Throughout Chaney’s career, the Owls never ever got across the Last 4.
Chaney won 516 games while with the Owls and 225 games with Cheyney State of NCAA Department II. He only had one losing season– his first year with Temple ending up 14-15 He was the first African-American in NCAA basketball history with 700 wins. He won a Department II championship game with Cheyney State.
Tributes to Chaney started to gather as news of his death started to drip out.
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