John Chaney, Temple University’s famed basketball coach, has passed away. He was 89 years old.
Under Chaney, Temple went to the NCAA Elite Eight five times, with their last appearance in 2001, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. He retired in 2006 after having been inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2001 and after leading the Owls to the NCAA tournament 17 times. He also won a Division II national title during his time at Cheyney University. All in all, he won 741 games between Cheyney and Temple as a coach.
“A man who lived his life the way he wanted, and will be remembered for his service,” said Simon Gratz High coach Lynard Stewart, who played for Chaney at Temple, per the outlet.
On the court, he was known for his passion, matchup zone defense, and early morning practices, typically beginning them at dawn and ending them at 8 a.m.
RIP to the great John Chaney, the iconic former Temple coach. Chaney was an American original. I absolutely loved talking with him, including his early morning practices where he had a lecture for his players that would rival any sermon. A great, great man. pic.twitter.com/bzLEBuBXvc
— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) January 29, 2021
Elsewhere, Chaney was highly influential in his opposition to NCAA initial-eligibility rules. During his reign, Temple players like Eddie Jones and Aaron McKie, who is now the Owls coach, weren’t qualified to play their freshman year due to the NCAA’s Proposition 48, an academic qualifying standard that is now defunct.
“I just want to be remembered as someone who cared. It’s that simple. What we need more of these days — I don’t care how you look at it — is caring for others, whoever that is,” Chaney previously to The Athletic.
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