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John Chaney (1932–2021), legendary Temple basketball coach

by Kirk Fox

John Chaney was the former head basketball coach at Temple University who led them to 17 NCAA tournament appearances.

Legendary Temple University coach

Chaney led the Temple University basketball team for 35 seasons, starting in 1982 until his retirement in 2006. The fiery Chaney came to Temple from his coaching job at Cheyney State, where he led that team to the 1978 NCAA Division II national championship. He took the Temple Owls to 17 NCAA tournament appearances, leading them to the Elite Eight five times. He was the Atlantic 10 Conference Coach of the Year five times and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2001. Chaney finished his outstanding career with over 700 wins.

Chaney on the importance of education for his players

“What entity has the right to play God? … You tellin’ me the NCAA can decide who lives and who dies among Black folks? Education is food, it’s heat, it’s shelter! Who has the right to deprive anyone of that? I come from the earth! I know what I’m talkin’ about! What choice are we givin’ the kids who fail that SAT test? One choice! Back to the streets … to a slow-legged death.” – 1994 Sports Illustrated interview


Tributes to John Chaney

Full Obituary: Philadelphia Inquirer

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