AACAtlantic 10BasketballIn Memoriam

Legendary Temple head coach John Chaney passes away at age 89

Hall of Fame coach John Chaney, who won over 500 games with the Temple Owls, passed away on Friday following a short illness. He had just turned 89 years old.

“John Chaney was a great coach, but he was so much more. For generations of Temple University students, he was a wise counselor, a dedicated teacher, an icon of success, and a passionate leader who always led by example and with conviction,” said Temple President Richard M. Englert said in a statement from the school. “I am also honored to say he was a dear friend. For generations of his players, there is only one man whom they all lovingly called Coach even to this day. That was John Chaney. Our most sincere condolences go out to his wonderful family members. We will keep them all in our prayers.”

Chaney spent 24 years as the head coach at Temple, reaching the postseason in every season after his first and winning eight A-10 titles along the way. The highlight of his tenure may have been his 1987-88 Owls team that went 32-2 and reached the NCAA Elite Eight (the first of five E8 appearances for Chaney). That team finished the regular season ranked #1 in the country and Chaney won a number of National COY awards.

He came to Temple from D-II Cheyney State (PA), where he went 225-59 in ten seasons and won the NCAA D-II National Championship in 1978.

“Coach Chaney was like a father to me,” said Temple head coach Aaron McKie, a former player under Chaney. “He taught not just me, but all of his players more than just how to succeed in basketball. He taught us life lessons to make us better individuals off the court. I owe so much to him. He made me the man I am today.”

Originally from Jacksonville FL, Chaney played at Bethune-Cookman in Daytona Beach before his professional career brought him up north in 1963 to play for the Williamsport Billies of the CBA. He would go on to become a legend in the state, coaching first at Sayre Junior HS and Simon Gratz HS in Philadelphia before going on to Cheyney and eventually Temple.

After his retirement, Coach Chaney remained a fixture within the Temple and Philadelphia communities. His name graces the court at the Liacouras Center.

Chaney was inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame in 2001 and was part of the inaugural class of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.


credit to Temple Athletics for the image