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John Chaney, Temple’s commanding basketball coach, dies at 89

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Chaney led Temple to 17 NCAA Match appearances over 24 seasons. He had 741 wins. However his greatest aim was giving poor children an opportunity to get an training.

PHILADELPHIA — John Chaney, one of many nation’s main Black coaches and a commanding determine throughout a Corridor of Fame basketball profession at Temple, died Friday. He was 89.

The college stated he died after a brief, unspecified sickness. He celebrated his birthday final week.

Chaney led Temple to 17 NCAA Match appearances over 24 seasons, together with 5 NCAA regional finals. Chaney had 741 wins as a university coach. He was twice named nationwide coach of the 12 months and his groups at Temple gained six Atlantic 10 convention titles.

He grew to become a de facto father to dozens of his gamers, many coming to Temple from damaged houses, violent upbringings and unhealthy colleges. He usually stated his greatest aim was merely to present poor children an opportunity to get an training.

Chaney was an imposing presence on the court docket — stressed, cranky, his in any other case natty garments in shambles by the tip of the sport. Typically, as he exhorted his staff, he put himself in conditions he later regretted. He was recognized for a fiery mood — sending a participant right into a 2005 sport to commit laborious fouls. Chaney served a suspension and apologized.

In 1994, he had a heated alternate following a sport towards UMass during which he threatened to kill coach John Calipari. Chaney apologized and was suspended for a sport. The 2 later grew to become mates.

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In 1984, Chaney grabbed George Washington coach Gerry Gimelstob by the shoulders at halftime throughout a sport.

Chaney, whose deep, darkish eyes appeared becoming for a college whose mascot is the Owl, was intense on the sidelines. His loud, booming voice may very well be heard throughout an enviornment, and his near-perfect designer garments have been in shambles after most video games. After an particularly unhealthy name, he would stare down referees. He as soon as gazed at a referee for a complete timeout with a glance he dubbed the “One-Eyed Jack.”

Although he appeared completely cranky, particularly throughout video games, Chaney was usually tender and humorous. He beloved telling tales. His postgame information conferences have been typically extra entertaining than the video games that preceded them. His retirement information convention in March 2006 wasn’t about hoops however about training’s function in serving to the poor and deprived. They included amusing anecdotes, pokes on the college administration and playful threats to slap the mayor.

After shedding to Michigan State in his final journey to the NCAA regional finals, in 2001, he was the identical outdated John Chaney — with water-filled eyes, carrying a tie torn open on the collar and waxing poetic about one other missed likelihood on the Last 4.

“It’s one thing all of us dream about, however fairly often goals come up quick,” he stated. “Fairly often you don’t understand every little thing. However it’s a must to understand that the expansion you see in kids like these might be the very best accomplishment you may attain.”

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Chaney arrived at Temple earlier than the 1982-83 season. Perched in one in every of Philadelphia’s hardest neighborhoods, Temple was the right match for a coach who prided himself on serving to gamers flip their basketball abilities into faculty levels. He was 50 and already had success at Cheyney State College, the place he had a document of 225-59 in 10 seasons. He led Cheyney, in suburban Philadelphia, to the 1978 Division II nationwide championship and was named Division II nationwide coach of the 12 months twice.

Chaney was born on Jan. 21, 1932, in Jacksonville, Florida. He lived in a neighborhood there referred to as Black Backside, the place, he stated, flooding rains would usher in rats. When he was within the ninth grade, his household moved to Philadelphia, the place his stepfather bought a job at a shipyard. Although referred to as a Corridor of Fame coach, he additionally was among the best gamers ever to return out of Philadelphia. He was the Philadelphia Public League participant of the 12 months in 1951 at Benjamin Franklin Excessive College.

A graduate of Bethune-Cookman School, he was an NAIA All-American and an NAIA event MVP earlier than going professional in 1955 to play with the Harlem Globetrotters. With black gamers nonetheless being discriminated towards within the NBA, he spent 1955 to 1966 within the Japanese Professional League with Sunbury and Williamsport, the place he was a two-time league MVP.

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