John Chaney, the sportsman who became synonymous with Temple University over the years, passed away at the age of 89 on Friday according to Cassandra Negley of Yahoo! Sports. When it came to the university men’s basketball, Chaney was simply the face of the Temple Owls program as he was their coach from 1982 to 2006.
In 24 years coaching the Owls, Chaney posted a record of 516 wins and 230 losses for a winning percentage of .671. In that time he guided the University of Temple to 17 National Collegiate Athletic Association Men’s Basketball Tournament appearances, and reached as far as the Elite Eight on five separate occasions (1988, 1991, 1993, 1999, and 2001).
In addition to coaching the University of Temple, Chaney also ironically coached the Cheyney State Wolves in Pennsylvania from 1972-1982. In that time, he posted a record of 225 wins and 59 losses for a marvelous winning percentage of .792. Also with the Wolves, Cheyney State won the 1978 NCAA Division II Championship. In the 1978 National Championship Division II Game, the Wolves defeated the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Phoenix 47-40 at the Hammons Center in Springfield, MO.
Chaney also coached high school basketball with Simon Gratz High School in Philadelphia from 1966 to 1972, and junior high school basketball with William L. Sayre from 1963 to 1966.
A native of Jacksonville, FL, Chaney played his collegiate basketball at Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona Beach FL. He then played 12 seasons of professional basketball in the Eastern Professional Basketball League with the Sunbury Mercuries from 1955 to 1963, and the Williamsport Billies from 1963 to 1966. It is interesting that Chaney was coaching junior high school basketball in Pennsylvania while still playing.
At the end of his coaching career, Chaney had won 741 games. That ranks him 41st on the all-time wins list. Mike Krzyzewski of Duke University is the winningest men’s college basketball coach ever with 1162 wins.
In 2001, Chaney was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. In 2006, Chaney was inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.