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John Chaney, famed Temple University basketball coach, passes away

He was 89.

John Chaney Getty Images

Legendary Temple University men’s basketball coach and Hall of Famer John Chaney has passed away at the age of 89.

“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,” Temple President Richard M. Englert said in a statement. “I am also honored to say he was a dear friend.”

According to ESPN, Chaney spent 24 seasons with the Owls. His first season was the only time the team failed to reach the NCAA tournament or the NIT.

Before his time at Temple, Chaney spent 10 seasons at Cheyney State. There, he went to eight Division II tournaments. In 1978, his team won the national championship.

“Coach Chaney was like a father to me,” said Aaron McKie, the present men’s basketball coach at Temple. “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.”

In 2001, Chaney was elected into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The famed coach was inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006. He was the first Black coach to reach 700 wins, with 741 victories overall.

Chaney retired from coaching in 2006. “It has never been a job for me, but a passion,” he said at the time. “When I look back, it will not be the wins and losses, but the people who influenced me and touched me greatly, and especially the men’s and women’s coaches and players who have made this university and my time here so special.”

Our thoughts and prayers are with Chaney’s friends and family. Rest in peace.

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